It’s hard to remember now, but when Netflix first offered streaming as a standalone subscription back in 2011, it cost just $8 per month. Now the company’s latest price increase pushes that Standard streaming rate in the US to $14. If you already have an account, it will probably be a couple of months before the new rate kicks in, and you will be notified first -- a strategy Netflix adopted in 2014 to ease the transition.
Sure, the Basic streaming tier is staying the same at $9, but now the mainstream HD streaming setup costs more than 4K used to. Speaking of, the premium package with 4K, HDR and up to four simultaneous streams is moving to $18 per month. That’s hardly a cable bundle rate, but it’s clear that the value-priced days of streaming are over.
You can always take your streaming business elsewhere (don’t forget that The Mandalorian season two just started this morning), but as I explained last year -- don’t be surprised if you see Disney+, HBO Max, Peacock, Amazon Prime and all the others raising their prices too. They’re in customer acquisition mode now, but competing in the content wars is expensive.
Netflix’s price hike comes amid an unprecedented amount of original content, that the company says will only increase next year. Here’s hoping that Ozark, a new season of Stranger Things and whatever new Adam Sandler movie is up next turn out to be worth the higher prices.
-- Richard Lawler
With a little refinement, these could be the complete package.
Jabra has made capable wireless earbuds for a few years, and now it’s adding active noise cancellation (ANC) to the feature set with the $230 Elite 85t. According to Billy Steele, in the 85t Jabra finally has a flagship-quality set of true wireless earbuds -- with effective ANC. The sound quality is good, but not great, and there’s room for improvement in the overall experience. Once the company fixes those minor issues, it will have its most complete package to date.
All-time lows on headphones, cameras and more.
Black Friday has turned into a month-long retail event, and after Best Buy kicked things off with some lower-than-usual prices Amazon dropped prices to match. Sony’s impressive ANC-equipped WH-1000XM4 headphones are down to $278, while at Best Buy, Vizio’s 65-inch P-Series Quantum TV is available for $979.
Roborace team SIT Acronis Autonomous suffered an embarrassment in round one of the Season Beta 1.1 race after its self-driving car drove off the starting line and directly into a wall.