T-Mobile has now confirmed the latest Netflix price hike won’t affect customers who subscribe to the video streaming service through the carrier’s “Netflix On Us” promotion.
The confirmation came from T-Mobile's CEO, John Legere on social media. However, it did come with a notable caveat that things might change in the very near future.
Legere confirmed that Netflix had already advised T-Mobile of the price increase while also confirming that although there are no immediate changes planned to the subsidized version of the service, the company, along with the help of Netflix, is evaluating the change “to determine what impact, if any, this may have down the road.”
Legere stated more information on this will become available by May 1, 2019.
Since the launch of Netflix On Us, T-Mobile has offered those on an eligible family plan the ability to access Netflix based on the streaming service's “Standard” plan.
At the time Netflix On Us launched, the cost of that plan was $9.99 in the US. Since then, the price did increase up to $10.99 and with that 2017 increase T-Mobile confirmed that price increase would not affect its promotion - in much the same way it has again today.
The difference is the new price increase sees the cost of the same Standard plan now rising up to $12.99 per month. Which is a lot more than what the cost was when T-Mobile first started the promotion.
There’s also the issue surrounding the "Premium" plan. As while T-Mobile does not cover the full cost of a Premium plan, it does apply the same $10 credit to the overall amount. Therefore, current users who want access to 4K content, or access to Netflix on more screens at the same time, can opt for the Premium option through T-Mobile and just pay the additional $3 each month.
Legere once again confirmed that won’t change immediately, in spite of the cost of the Premium plan having now rose to $15.99 per month.
One of the possible reasons why the May 1 date is implied is the process of converting existing plans to the next price level is expected to take up to three months to complete. Therefore, it could be the case T-Mobile and Netflix have agreed to not up the T-Mobile accounts until later in that process, thereby keeping the rates for the next three months at their previous level.
If that is the case, then it would seem that come May 1 there might indeed be some changes to the way in which Netflix On Us is provided, or at least the amount that T-Mobile contributes to the cost of a Standard plan.
In theory, T-Mobile could opt to shift Netflix On Us subscribers over to the “Basic” plan for free, as following the increase the Basic plan will now cost almost the same amount the Standard plan initially did.
In comparison to the Standard plan, the Basic plan only permits one stream at a time and caps the playback quality at the SD level. While not the same deal overall, it is still better than nothing considering it's free. That's if T-Mobile decides to go down that route as the self-proclaimed "un-carrier" might simply decide to absorb the additional costs itself, or strike a new deal with Netflix.