Netflix is raising monthly fees for its U.S. subscribers by between 13 percent and 18 percent, the video streaming pioneer's first price increase since 2017 as it spends heavily on original content and international expansion.
Time Warner Inc's HBO Now streaming service charges $14.99 per month, while Hulu's no-advertisements plan is priced at $11.99 per month.
Netflix has been pouring money to bolster its original content, which boasts award-winning shows such as "The Crown", "Black Mirror" and "Wild Wild Country", to fend off intensifying competition from players such as Amazon.com's Prime Video service and Hulu.
The company is expected to have a debt level of $8.33 billion in 2018, according to Daniel Morgan, senior portfolio manager at Synovus Trust Co, which owns 15,019 shares of Netflix.
"With Netflix frequently tapping the debt markets on several recent occasions, the price hike could help ease concerns with a growing deficit on free cash flow to fund a likely continued escalation in Netflix's content spending, which likely topped $13 billion in 2018."