FORTUNE — Netflix Inc.
confirmed a plan to charge new domestic subscribers $8.99 a month for the company’s streaming service, a dollar more than current members will be charged for the next two years.
The change comes after Netflix in April had outlined a plan to raise prices in the U.S. for new members by “a dollar or two” after seeing a limited impact from a price change in Ireland. At the time, Netflix also hadn’t finalized how long existing members would wait to see a price increase.
The money generated from the price increase will help fund the company’s content acquisition, as well as to fund original programing, according to Netflix’s top executives. Netflix has generated a lot of media attention with its original series, in particular “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black.” But investing in those shows, as well as launching advertising campaigns to promote them, leads to higher costs.
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In an e-mail sent to current subscribers on Friday, Netflix thanked its members and said “we guarantee that your plan and price will not change for two years.” The pricing change is for unlimited streaming of movies and television episodes. Netflix also offers a one DVD out-at-a-time plan, which costs $7.99 a month.
Netflix also will charge new U.K. customers an extra £1 per month, with prices in Europe increasing by €1, according to a report by CNET. A Netflix spokesman wasn’t immediately available to confirm those figures.
The price hike is the first overall increase Netflix has enacted in the U.S. since the company’s well-publicized stumbles about three years ago. Morningstar Inc. senior analyst Peter Wahlstrom said Netflix did a better job telegraphing the increase this time around, and was conservative with the timeline of the increase for existing subscribers.
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Wahlstrom said the increase announced on Friday didn’t affect his forecast for Netflix’s domestic streaming business. He still projects the company will reach 54 million subscribers for that segment by the end of 2018, a target that assumed 6% price increases on an average annualized basis.
In a research report issued by Pacific Crest Securities last month, the investment bank said the average U.S. Netflix subscriber was paying 16 cents per hour viewed at the old rate, far below the roughly 50 cent per hour for the average pay television subscriber. Pacific Crest suggested that data showed Netflix had room to raise prices.