Netflix Australia: Here’s how much you should pay from July

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The Netflix logo is shown in this illustration photograph in Encinitas, California October 14, 2014. Reuters/Mike Blake

Netflix prices are officially going up in Australia. Starting July, the government's "Netflix Tax" will change the way existing customers pay for content online with a 20 percent extra pay for the service. This means Australian customers will be charged as much as AU$18 per month for top-tier service. New customers will have to bear price hikes, too, while existing customers will receive a 30 days notice.

The streaming giant is meeting the 10 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) requirements while allegedly taking advantage of hike prices, too. It stressed it has not lifted prices since its local launch in 2015 but assured the new changes are about prices reflecting quality.

A Netflix spokesperson explained that Netflix plans and pricing are adjusted as more exclusive television shows and movies are added. "We also adjust plans and pricing to respond to local market changes, such as tax or regulatory changes,” CNET quotes the spokesperson as saying.

Last month, the entertainment service did a trial price rise. A spokesperson for the company said that not all customers wanted the trial prices at that time and they may never be applied generally. But this time, the price hikes are set in stone for all subscribers.

Netflix price hike

From Saturday, those under the entry-level $8.99 plan should pay $9.99 per month. Members of the $11.99 plan will have to pay $13.99, while premium $14.99 plan member’s monthly bill will be up to $17.99. That's an added $1, $2 and $3 per month, respectively or a difference of 20 percent.

Premium customers will soon need to pay $36 extra annually. It is well above the 10 percent GST applied to digital products from next month.

Customers will be alerted regarding the approaching changes via email and service notifications. Since the GST bill was passed, Netflix was the first company to announce pricing changes in Australia. In 2015, the company upped prices in the United States.

Meanwhile, Foxtel Now has announced it is lowering its entry-level pricing to $10. Stan monthly pricing remains unchanged at $10 despite improvements to the service, which include 4K and offline viewing.

Swedish company Spotify said they do not have plans to up prices in Australia at this time. It currently charges AU$11.99 monthly for its premium service.

The implementation of a digital consumption tax is also being considered in other countries. New Zealand, for instance, is already charging a 15 percent levy.

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