×

Netflix disclosed $2 price hike in 2014

Netflix on an iPad Mini tablet computer
Ken Schafer | Getty Images
Netflix on an iPad Mini tablet computer

Customers enraged by Netflix's $2 price hike likely weren't paying attention two years ago.

Social media users took to Twitter this week to criticize the online streaming company for a "surprise" increase of its monthly fees for grandfathered users.

Turns out, Netflix revealed the change back in 2014 and reminded shareholders again in January with a letter.

"In Q2 and Q3, we'll be releasing a substantial number of our US members from price grandfathering on the HD plan and they will have the option of continuing at $7.99 but now on the SD plan, or continuing on HD at $9.99 a month," the company said in the letter.

The fee hike, which starts for some users in May, was first announced in 2014, when Netflix bumped its monthly fee for ner users from $7.99 to $8.99. At the time, the company told members who were already signed up that they would get a two-year reprieve from the hike. Now Netflix is ready to collect.

"Later this month, members in the UK will begin to be un-grandfathered," a spokeswoman for Netflix told CNBC. "Beginning [in] May, the price update is rolling out elsewhere based on member billing periods. Impacted members will be clearly notified by email and within the service, so that they have time to decide which plan/price point works best for them."

There are some near-term risks for Netflix because of this un-grandfathering in the United States, according to a recent JPMorgan research note. The investment company downsized its second-quarter estimate for net subscription additions to 300,000 from 704,000 because of this near-term risk.

"However, we think the price increase will be rolled out gradually to minimize disruption," JPMorgan said in its research note on Thursday.

Long term, JPMorgan still expects Netflix to have 60 million U.S. subscribers and 100 million international subscribers by 2019 or 2020.

Of course, not all Twitter users responded negatively to the $2 change, citing the small sum or Netflix's award-winning original programming as a reason to stick with the platform.