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Streaming Roundup: Amazon Price Hike, Hulu VPN Ban and Amazon HBO Deal

Amazon vs Netflix vs Hulu
Sean Fang Thu, 01/05/2014 - 22:52

Netflix has indicated that "a one or two dollar increase" in subscription pricing is coming new members later in the year, to account for rising acquisition costs. Netflix announced these changes in their quarterly letter to shareholders, as the company also announced quarterly profits of $53 million, a rise in $3 million from a year ago.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings explained that the price rise, which will vary in amount depending on regions, was necessary to allow Netflix to continue increasing the quality of its content. Existing members will be protected from the price rise "for a generous time period", according to the shareholder letter.

Meanwhile, Hulu has started banning VPNs, used by those outside of the U.S. to gain access to the streaming service. The company has been under increasing pressure to crackdown on foreign use of its streaming service, which allows timely access to US and basic cable network programming, shows like Family Guy, Glee, The Daily Show and Modern Family. So far, geo-unblocking DNS services are unaffected.

While Netflix and Hulu were making headlines that could upset subscribers, Amazon went the other way with the news that their Prime Instant Video service will now include classic HBO shows as part of its unlimited streaming offering. Entire seasons of shows like “The Sopranos” and “The Wire” will be available to subscribers, while early seasons of current shows like “Boardwalk Empire” and “True Blood" will also be available. The HBO hit "Game of Thrones" has not been included in the deal. Amazon recently upped their Prime subscription price from $79 per year to $99.