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Netflix subscription to increase up to 8% in Malaysia starting 9 Jan 2020

Netflix subscribers in Malaysia will have to fork out a little bit more starting next year as the online video streaming platform has announced a price revision which will take effect starting 9th January 2020. This is not just to comply with the new 6% digital tax but also to allow Netflix to improve its content and user experience.

Netflix subscribers will be informed about the change from 9th January on a rolling basis and it will be reflected on the next billing cycle. Below are the new monthly subscription rates:

Netflix Mobile-only – RM17 (unchanged)
Netflix Basic – RM33 RM35 (RM2 ~ 6.06%)
Netflix Standard – RM42 RM45 (RM3 ~ 6.67%)
Netflix Premium – RM51 RM55 (RM4 ~ 7.84%)

According to Netflix head of communications for Southeast Asia, Leigh Wong, the new prices will reflect the 6% digital tax on foreign service providers but added that the timing is coincidental. This was the first price increase for Netflix in Malaysia since it was introduced in January 2016.

The price adjustment will allow Netflix to further improve its offering which includes data compression or adaptive streaming technology. He also added that Netflix also plans to announce a price adjustment for Singapore users.

To recap, the Netflix Mobile plan at RM17/month offers a single SD stream that you can watch only on your mobile phone and tablets. The Basic plan offers the same single SD stream but you can watch it on all devices including your laptop and your big screen TV. Meanwhile, the Standard plan offers HD content with 2 simultaneous streaming and Premium lets you enjoy up to UHD 4K with up to 4 simultaneous screens.

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Fortunately, the subscription for the base mobile-only plan remains unchanged at RM17/month. Malaysia is a mobile-centric market and it is also the first country to launch the plan in Southeast Asia. According to Netflix, their video compression technology allows users to watch 6.5 hours of content while consuming as little as 1GB of mobile data.

The digital tax was first announced during Budget 2019 and it will be enforced starting 1st January 2020. It is aimed at levelling the playing field for local businesses while generating more revenue for the Malaysian government from businesses that are not based in Malaysia.


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Alexander Wong