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MasterClass Actually Lowered Its Subscription Price

The world of streaming entertainment has been incredibly frustrating as of late. For all of the mockery the move from HBO Max to just Max got, the story that sticks out to me is the fact that Disney+ just purged a bunch of their original content — meaning that great shows like Prop Culture and The Mysterious Benedict Society essentially no longer exist as they’ve been deleted into the ether (by the way, this move was done without any real notice from Disney as the service refused to put out an official list of departing content).

All the while, the prices for streaming services have continued to rise, even with the addition of ad-supported tiers. In fact, going back to Disney+, Bob Iger says he’s planning to further hike the price of the ad-free tier in a bid to send more customers to the ad-supported one. All of this is to say that streaming is getting simultaneously more expensive and, in some cases, worse overall.

That’s why I was surprised to see that at least one streaming platform is bucking the trend. This week, Masterclass announced that it was actually lowering its prices. And, while I wouldn’t exactly compare Masterclass to the likes of Netflix, Disney+, or Max, I do think this is an interesting strategy.

Let’s start with the details. Previously, Masterclass plans started at $15 a month* (more on that * in a moment) for the Individual plan. Well, now, that same plan comes at a cost of $10 a month*, with the Duo plan also falling from $20 to $15 and the Family plan shifting down from $23 to $20.

Now for that asterisk. Unlike many other streaming services, Masterclass doesn’t currently offer monthly plans. Instead, that $10 a month is actually billed annually. This means you’ll need to pony up $120 to get started. That said, there is a 30-day satisfaction guarantee — and $120 is still less than the previous $180 per year fee.

I imagine that the reason why Masterclass only offers annual plans is so that people don’t pay for a single month and try to binge all of their content. To that point, however, the site now has a pretty stacked library of courses that aren’t all that short either. Therefore you’d be hard-pressed to complete too many of them in just a month’s time. Then again, just because there are a ton of classes doesn’t mean you’d necessarily want to take them all. After all, while I personally have watched classes on magic with Penn & Teller, business leadership with Bob Iger, screenwriting with Aaron Sorkin, electronic music production with Deadmau5, and dog training with Brandon McMillan, I don’t suppose this is an ordinary mixture of topics.

So, is Masterclass worth it at this new lower price? Well, that still depends. While I’m not sure how much practical, actionable advice you can capture from these courses, I have found them to be at least interesting and entertaining. Thus, I’d compare them more to audiobooks than regular streaming content. With that framing, if there are at least a few classes or personalities on the platform that interest you, I don’t think that $120 for a year is a bad price. More than anything, though, I hope that this strategy pays off for Masterclass and — maybe, just maybe — we’ll see other streaming services cooling their jets when it comes to price hikes.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Founder ~ Moneyat30
Kyle is a freelance writer - including being the head writer for Fioney.com. He also serves as editorial director for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com. In 2015, Kyle and his wife Bekah moved from Los Angeles to Springfield MO in pursuit of greater financial freedom. Together, the pair enjoy travel, coffee, and spending time with their dog Rigby. Additionally, as of 2023, they become first-time homeowners.

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