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Netflix has no plan to raise prices for Korea

Online streaming giant cautious about regulation attempt

Netflix said Thursday it has not considered raising its prices in South Korea, amid concerns over whether the streaming service giant would extend its biggest-ever price hike in the US to the Korean market.

“Do we have any plans for price increase? Simple answer is no,” said Jessica Lee, vice president of Netflix Asia Pacific Communications, during a press conference in Seoul, where the streaming service had celebrated the launch of its first Korean-produced online series, “Kingdom.” 

Last week, Netflix decided to raise monthly subscription prices by as much as 18 percent in the US. The most popular subscription plan will now cost $13 a month, up from $11. The cheapest subscription will cost $8.99, up from $7.99.

Nigel Baptiste, Director of Partner Engagement. Netflix
Nigel Baptiste, Director of Partner Engagement. Netflix

Netflix also stressed the company is an “online streaming service” in light of attention on the company’s growing presence in South Korea and intensified competition with local broadcasters.

Some lawmakers have been working on legislation designed to treat Netflix the same way as broadcasting companies. If the law passes the National Assembly, Netflix and other online streaming services would no longer be exempt from strict state regulation on its content.

“Our focus is on streaming service,” said Jessica Lee, responding to a question about lawmakers’ attempt to classify Netflix as a broadcasting firm subject to local laws. “We will continue our discussion (on that matter).”

Since launching its service in Korea in 2016, Netflix has emerged as a significant player in the content market. According to market research company WiseApp, monthly users of the Netflix mobile app in South Korea hit about 900,000 as of last September, almost three times more than in 2017.