Netflix's stock prices have risen substantially, following news of the streaming service increasing its subscription prices. With the growing popularity of Netflix original content, and ahead of what is expected to be a big quarter, the streaming giant has announced that U.S. subscriber base can expect a price increase. Both the single stream HD and the four stream 4K Ultra HD plans will see a bump of $1 and $2, respectively, moving monthly fees up to $10.99 and $13.99. News of Disney eventually pulling its titles in favor of creating a Disney exclusive streaming service haven't seemed to slow down Netflix's growth either.
One of Netflix's most popular originals ever, Stranger Things, will be returning for a highly anticipated second season later this month, which could be why now is the perfect time to announce the increase. With a new focus on original content, Netflix has even mentioned that they're open to the idea of theatrical releases for some of their films, in addition to making them available for streaming.
While there may be some skepticism about Netflix cheapening more traditional TV or film avenues and award prestige, the service seems determined to make itself one of Hollywood's biggest players. The film industry may stress over the self-professed integrity of their awards and whether or not Netflix has a place among them, but Variety has reported that Netflix stock is now at an all time high. In the latest UBS analyst forecast, the newly-announced price increase is expected to bring an additional $350 million in revenue for Netflix in 2018.
Fans aren't the only group who anticipate big things at the end of October when Stranger Things 2 becomes available. Rich Greenfield, an analyst at BTIG, said his global financial services firm "believe[s] the timing of the subscription price increase is directly tied to the power of the content available on Netflix this quarter." The Crown will return for a second season in early December, and despite pulling the series from New York Comic Con in the wake of the Las Vegas tragedy, The Punisher is slated to hit Netflix before the year is out too (possibly in November).
The majority of analysts that have appraised Netflix's worth have also acknowledged there will be a decline in the subscriber base, but they are anticipating it to have a minimal impact on new growth. Those numbers are projected for about 176 million subscribers by 2020. Dough Mitchelson, a UBS analyst, noted that analyst confidence in Netflix is under the presumption that the company would not make such bold moves if its numbers were on a downward trend. Netflix stock closed at its highest yet, $194.39, and the company is projected to reach $225 per share within 12 months.