Netflix has officially raised its price by $1 for new members in Canada and elsewhere, while pledging that existing customers won't see fees increase for at least two years.

In a move that had been rumoured for weeks, the online streaming video company said that starting immediately, the price for new Canadian customers would go from $7.99 to $8.99.

"As a thank you for being a member of Netflix already, we guarantee your plan and price (excluding tax) will not change for two years," Netflix told customers in an email Friday morning.

Higher costs

Netflix's customer base has grown rapidly but in recent months has struggled with exponentially higher costs to manage its large flow of data over internet infrastructure.

The company is also having to pay more to produce and obtain rights to expensive exclusive shows such as House of Cards and Orange Is The New Black, which customers are demanding.

Customers in the U.K., U.S. and other markets also received the notice. And there, too, the company pledged to keep prices the same for existing customers until at least May 2016.

By delaying the increase for current subscribers, Netflix hopes to avoid the backlash it faced in 2011 when it raised prices by as much as 60 per cent.

The company lost about 800,000 customers within a few months in an exodus that alarmed investors, causing Netflix's stock to plunge by more than 80 per cent in a year. Netflix eventually lured back subscribers and revived its customer growth, lifting its stock to record highs earlier this year.

With files from The Associated Press