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Inflation hits home entertainment as streaming service subscription prices rise

Watching TV and streaming movies is getting a little more expensive across the board as Amazon Prime, Netflix, Disney+ and more streamers raise prices.
streaming service
Some streaming services, including Netflix and Amazon Prime, have increased their prices.

Over the last year, four major streaming services have raised Canadian subscription prices or adjusted package tiers to encourage upgrading.

These price jumps affect millions of homes as Canadians love their on-demand entertainment.

Close to 62% of Canadian adults subscribe to at least one streaming service, which is well above the global average of 55.71%. Netflix is the most popular choice as a whopping 52.10% of Canadians have an account, followed by Amazon Prime (25%). Both of these companies — and more — have seen price jumps recently.

How much has the price of Amazon Prime increased?

Previous price: $79/year

New price: $99/year

Increase: $20

Through supply chain issues and the COVID-19 pandemic, Amazon’s profits rose to net $469.8 billion in 2021, a 22% jump from the previous year.

In a letter to Canadian Amazon Prime subscribers in early April, the company announced its first fee increase for Prime service since it’s Canadian launch in 2013.

In the letter, “fast, unlimited” shipping options that doesn’t require a minimum spend, one-day delivery option (implemented earlier this year on thousands of products) and Amazon Prime original programming (like Reacher and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel) were cited as the main justification for the price hike.

Amazon does not release date on subscriber numbers, so the number of households this will impact is unknown.

How much has the price of Netflix increased?

Previous price: $14.99/month

New price: $16.49/month

Increase: $1.50

Netflix’s Canadian price increase happened in January of 2022. An estimated 6.78 million Canadians subscribe to Netflix, but the company is struggling with sluggish growth rates (which has some customers concerned that subscriber costs will continue to rise).

For now, Canadians have escaped the controversial new plan to introduce a fee for users who share their Netflix password outside their household.

How much has the price of Crave TV increased?

Previous price: $9.99/month (Crave Basic)

New price: $19.99/month (Crave Total)

Increase: $10 if users opt-in to the new tier

In October 2021, Crave changed its tiers, effectively creating a price increase for many customers. The basic package ($9.99/month) migrated to a mobile service available on a single device (thus making it incompatible with family sharing or watching via Roku or Apple TV systems). Crave Plus was renamed Crave Total (this is where you’ll find HBO and HBO Max, Showtime and movies) for $19.99/month.

Crave Basic subscribers were given a free trial of Crave Total, which ended March 31.

How much has the price of Disney+ increased?

Previous price: $89.99/year

New price: $119.99/year

Price difference: $30

In an email sent in late December of 2021, Disney+ subscribers were made aware of the price change but there was little explanation given for the increase.

Streamers that haven’t announced a price change in Canada (yet)

Apple TV+ ($5.99)

Since its debut in the winter of 2019, Apple TV+ has held steady in price (with plenty of free trials for those who purchase Apple products and service).

Paramount+/CBS All Access ($5.99/month)

There’s a lot of confusion around these two streamers. Due to a recent merger, only one is need as the content between them overlaps. It’s also important to note that because of licensing agreements, Paramount+’s library in Canada is not as robust as the U.S. platform.

YouTube Premium ($11.99 or $17.99/family plan)

One of the main perks of a premium membership to YouTube is that it eliminates ads from the user experience. There’s also exclusive content, the ability to play videos in the background while using other apps and offline downloading options.