Netflix is slowly weening the public off the $9 tier for streaming 4K content, starting with charging new subscribers $12 per month to stream its ultra HD offerings.
Netflix has removed the high-resolution 4K service from its standard subscription services and is now only offering it to those who subscribe to its family plan.
"We decided to move 4K UHD video into our four-stream plan for new members who sign up and care about the highest-quality video Netflix offers," a Netflix spokesman said. "We have a modest and growing catalog of titles in 4K, including 'House of Cards,' 'Breaking Bad,' 'The Blacklist' and a slate of upcoming Netflix original series."
Existing subscribers to Netflix' standard subscription service have been grandfathered into glorious 4K streaming for at least the next two years, according to information sent to HDGuru. Those how have been paying for 4K service before Aug. 12 will be able to enjoy whatever 4K content Netflix gets its hands on until Aug. 12, 2016.
For those who have stepped away from the services or are just now considering a subscription, Netflix' offerings of 4K content is about as deep a pool as the company spokesperson said.
The price hikes were expected to arrive at some point, considering the sheer amount of bandwidth needed to deliver 4K content, which has a resolution of 3840 x 2160, combined with tolls charged to Netflix by Comcast and Verizon.
Netflix continues its global expansion, despite the revenue losses it takes to do so. But now that the Verizon-made rival Redbox Instant is deceased, Netflix will have one less concern as it tempts consumers away from cable and satellite companies.
Netflix' $4 price hike follows the $1 increase for its standard streaming subscription, which was announced back in May.
Redbox Instant was the child of Verizon and Outerwall, the kiosk company that manages Redbox and Coinstar. Redbox Instant was shuttered on Oct. 7 as Outerwall and the Redbox Instant team blamed weak summer movies for lagging sales both at Redbox kiosks and the hatchling streaming service.
"June represented the lowest monthly theatrical box office in Redbox history," stated Outerwall CEO J. Scott Di Valerio. "Box office in June was down 83 percent from June 2013 as only four titles were released during the month. While the release schedule was not compelling for consumers during the quarter, consumer engagement with Redbox remained strong as demonstrated by a significant year-over-year increase in e-mail open rates, e-mail subscribers and Redbox app downloads."