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Netflix raises streaming prices in Japan as more subscribers staying at home

This image provided by Netflix Inc. shows the company's logo.

TOKYO -- Streaming giant Netflix Inc. announced on Feb. 5 that it has raised subscription fees for two plans in Japan by up to about 13%.

    Among three options, the monthly fee for the "Standard" plan has been raised by 170 yen to 1,490 yen (about $14), and the fee for the "Basic" plan has been hiked by 110 yen to 990 yen (about $9). These two common plans have many subscribers. Meanwhile, the fee for the "Premium" plan, whose subscribers can watch high-definition 4K content, remains at 1,980 yen (about $19) per month. The new fees apply to new subscribers starting on Feb. 5, and to existing members from March.

    The number of paid Netflix subscribers in Japan reached 5 million in the summer of 2020, a rise of some 2 million from the previous summer. The increase is likely attributed to stay-at-home lifestyles amid the coronavirus pandemic, among other factors. The company has boosted its investment in Japan, including producing its original drama series "Alice in Borderland," adapted from a Japanese manga series, and streaming animations. Netflix plans to stream more than 25 original works in 2021.

    A Netflix official explained that by revising subscription fees, the company aims to continue streaming dramas and movies in various genres.

    (Japanese original by Hiroki Sasamoto, Cultural News Department)

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