Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

Summary: Netflix subscribers are going to have some choices to make as the online rental service has dramatically changed its DVD and streaming plans, tacking on a few new options as well.

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Netflix subscribers are going to have some choices to make as the online rental service has dramatically changed its DVD and streaming plans, tacking on a few new options as well.

Let's cover the new subscription offers first:

  • $7.99 a month for 1 DVD out at-a-time plan
  • $11.99 a month for 2 DVDs out at-a-time plan

Now, here's where it gets messy. Netflix is dividing up its unlimited plans for online streaming and DVDs. That means users will no longer be able to have both unlimited Watch Instantly access and be able to rent as many DVDs per month (either one, two or three out at-a-time plans) at they want on the same subscription. Here's how it will look now:

  • Plan 1: Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $7.99 a month
  • Plan 2: Unlimited DVDs, 1 out at-a-time (no streaming), for $7.99 a month

For subscribers who still want both unlimited streaming and at least the unlimited one DVD out at-a-time plan, they'll have to fork over $15.98 per month (thus, $7.99 + $7.99). For reference, up until now, the rate for the comparative unlimited DVD and streaming plan has been $9.99 per month.

At the very least, there is time for current subscribers to think about this and plan their personal budgets as for them this goes into action on September 1, 2011. However, new subscribers can expect these prices immediately and anyone interested the DVD only plans can head to a new portal: https://dvd.netflix.com.

Netflix subscribers (and probably everyone else) are likely wondering why Netflix got so expensive all of a sudden. CNN Money pointed out that Netflix is going to have to pay the studios much more in content costs - at least $1.98 billion - next year. So Netflix is going to need extra money from somewhere, which is mainly the subscriber base.

Even though this is likely to bug many Netflix subscribers, and surely some a few will cancel in outrage, not everyone will and probably most will either just switch to a different plan or agree to pay up more each month. Netflix notes that splitting up the unlimited offerings "better reflect(s) the costs of each," and whether that is true or not (to Netflix, the studios, the viewers or all of the above), boosting the costs of the the monthly subscription plans could turn out to be better for Netflix's overall bottom line.

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34 comments
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  • I have the 7.99 unlimited streaming plan

    and to tell the truth, they have nothing all that great out on unlimited streaming.

    If you want a good movie, it's DVD only, otherwise the majority of movies to stream are B and C movies, with some top of the line movies thrown in to make it "worth it"
    William Pharaoh
    • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

      @William Pharaoh
      Best thing is you can share the plan with up to 6 people or devices anywhere! they don't check IP's so I give my dad 1 account, father in law another account and of course 1 for a friend... I keep 3 devices at home and I don't think iPad or iPhone count since I log in... will have to check, anyways it's not too bad to do it this way...
      Hasam1991
      • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

        @Hasam1991 The only bad side is the suggestions... when someone watched white chicks it just started recommending some crap movies!!
        Hasam1991
      • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

        @Hasam1991 and you cannot watch 2 @ once!
        slickjim
    • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

      @William Pharaoh

      [i]and to tell the truth, they have nothing all that great out on unlimited streaming.[/i]
      Nonsense! You can stream The Human Centipede on netflix :P Whether you'd want to watch it or not is a different story.
      LoverockDavidson
    • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

      @William Pharaoh
      But I believe the whole point to the rate hike is because they are investing a lot of money to have the studio license to offer recent releases sooner. That's been their issue the whole time, they've been limited how soon they can offer new releases via streaming.
      allanscott14
  • This will prompt a lot of mail plan cancellations. Then when NetFlix fails

    to come through with good timely streaming content anyway it will lead to complete cancelations. NetFlix streaming content has been absolutely pathetic since it's inception. It's shown ZERO improvement since that time. If they don't change that ASAP along with these planned pricing changes they will get clobbered by amazon so fast their heads will spin...
    Johnny Vegas
    • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

      @Johnny Vegas Excellent point! I forgot about free streaming with Amazon if you join their Amazon prime club. As the UPS guy can confirm, I buy enough stuff from Amazon that this probably makes sense.

      Amazon's current streaming selection is currently worse than Netflix's. But I give them credit that they are probably smart enough to smell the blood in the water and will probably go after Netflix.
      MrClarenceCat
    • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

      @Johnny Vegas
      Why would one assume they will fail to come through? They've purchased the studio licenses neccessary to offer new releases sooner, there's no reason for them to not follow through.
      allanscott14
    • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

      @Johnny Vegas I agree completely!
      slickjim
  • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

    If the extra $6.00 ($15.98 vs $9.99) will be used to improve their current streaming selection, then I don't mind paying the extra money. Netflix streaming is really only useful to catch up on old and rare movies and TV shows. Actually I was already considering canceling my service once I was caught up on MST3k and BBC imports.

    I realize that some will say that an extra $6.00 per month is not a big deal. But I really think Netflix is making a (rare) mistake in increasing their costs. Especially as it seems that each week brings a new streaming app or service (like HBO Go).
    MrClarenceCat
    • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

      @MrClarenceCat [b]If the extra $6.00 ($15.98 vs $9.99) will be used to improve their current streaming selection...[/b]

      Therein lies the problem - there is no guarantee that the streaming selection will get any better... I'll likely go with the streaming only plan and use Redbox for the things Netflix is unable to stream and save or rather reallocate the $6/m. IF Netflix decided to stream all of their selections that they have on DVD I would not even object to paying up to $6/m more for a streaming only plan.
      athynz
  • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

    Typical company of today, get people comfortable on a certain plan, then when they get used to it, gouge them to death by making them pay more for the service they have always gotten (see Verizon and Comcast). Netflix will have trouble surviving with the current pricing plan they are proposing. I will only keep the unlimited streaming while my children are in preschool. Once they are in school each day, I won't have a need for Netflix and those outrages fees.
    CowboyJake
    • Not much different than Government

      @CowboyJake Typical government of today, the politicians spend and spend and when pushed threaten to cut services instead of all the perks they get.

      We are always expected to do more with less, but they continue taking and spending other people's money.
      otaddy
  • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

    I've had Netflix for about two years. I started with the $15/month plan plus $2/blu ray upgrade. The streaming options are pretty crappy, but I've moved my plan to the $7.99/streaming only just to save some $$$. My hope is that with the new streaming only plans, they push more content to it. And quicker.
    tech_monster
  • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

    With the poor selection of streaming and increased ISP bandwidth restrictions, this seems like an epic fail.

    One might think transfering new releases to streaming would be a most cost efficient approach to save on mailing costs.

    Everyone put their account on hold August 30 and watch Netflix's response after a few months of lost revenues.
    cabbott@...
  • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

    I don't mind paying a little more for both the streaming and DVD service however I want better service i.e. DVDs released day and time as they are available at retail outlets also newer content on the streaming since I will be paying the same for each service I want the choice of getting a DVD or streaming it.

    This is monumental ripoff and I hope they get a lot of cancellations.
    ghgarcia
  • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

    Why not stream the entire catalog? I would pay $15 for a plan where I can stream everything when I want without commercials and have the most recent movies. Even if the most recent movies offered are 2-3 months past being in the theater.

    Would anyone else be willing to pay for such a plan?
    Why haven't Netflix setup such a plan? It would reduce inventory, employee expense, postage expense, etc.
    fdaugherty
    • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

      @fdaugherty exactly. I only get the DVD's because I can't watch what I want via streaming. I'd pay the $16/month for the full catalog as streaming.
      grayknight-22253692004129760887070084760051
    • RE: Netflix dramatically alters streaming and DVD subscription plans

      @fdaugherty The media cartel would also like you to do this, but when you add up all the licensing fees you would be shelling out hundreds of dollars a month instead of $7.99
      terry flores