Netflix may begin offering family plans with multiple simultaneous stream options later this year

Netflix may begin offering family plans with multiple simultaneous stream options later this year

Summary: With Netflix seeing an incredible surge in streaming video activity from its client base, the company is mulling over ways to deal with the single-account, single-stream model it currently offers. GigaOm went digging through the company's Investor Relations section of its Website and found that Netflix is considering how to monetize offering multiple simultaneous streams to subscribers.

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With Netflix seeing an incredible surge in streaming video activity from its client base, the company is mulling over ways to deal with the single-account, single-stream model it currently offers. GigaOm went digging through the company's Investor Relations section of its Website and found that Netflix is considering how to monetize offering multiple simultaneous streams to subscribers.

Though it hasn't decided a precise course of action yet, the company is pondering providing additional concurrent streams for an account for an extra monthly fee -- much as Netflix has done with DVD plans that let you have more titles out at a time. Another idea being floated is having multiple accounts for a single household, much like cell phone family plans.

Netflix states its goal is to work toward something like "personal" accounts that would mean parents and kids wouldn't have to fight over what to stream and why their queues look like those of someone suffering from multiple personality disorder.

"[A]s streaming has become central to our business, we believe there may be an opportunity to change our focus from a household relationship to an individual relationship, since streaming is viewed on personal devices, such as phones, tablets, and laptops, as well as on shared large screen televisions."

Of course, Netflix will be determining how to extract the most profit from dealing with even more streams from its servers. Will the magic price point be an extra $2.99 per month for an additional stream, or $4.99? GigaOm reports that some enterprising users have already figured out how to work around the one-account, one-stream limit, so it's not surprising that Netflix plans to roll out a family plan or some other solution sooner rather than later.

Do you wish you could have more than one stream for your Netflix account? If so, how much extra would you pay per month for each additional simultaneous stream? Let us know in the Comments section.

Topics: Software Development, Browser, Mobility

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9 comments
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  • RE: Netflix may begin offering family plans with multiple simultaneous stream options later this year

    $2.99 sounds fair for the extra. I would most likely get it as my mom uses my account constantly. One thing I wish they would fix is the limit as to how many devices can run netflix. Last I checked it was set at 5. Between my wii, xbox, laptop, and desktop, I'm already hogging 4 of em. This needs to be switched to unlimited items.
    KBot
    • RE: Netflix may begin offering family plans with multiple simultaneous stream options later this year

      @KBot, I am pretty sure the limit is 6. Thats what I have, an Xbox, Roku Box, Wii, My Sons Laptop, and our two HTC HD7 WP7's.
      But I do agree with you that they need to raise the limit.
      AboveAverageJoe
  • Really?

    I never "worked around" it, I was just always able to run 2 separate streams. I thought this was a normal feature of the Netflix account.
    Real World
    • RE: Netflix may begin offering family plans with multiple simultaneous stream options later this year

      @Real World

      It is, for most people it would be a waste of money.
      kingscoop71
    • RE: Netflix may begin offering family plans with multiple simultaneous stream options later this year

      @Real World, I think they changed their TOS at some point to one stream per DVD out you had. Probably when they added the streaming only option and changed their pricing.
      Way back when, when they first added the streaming I am pretty sure the TOS stated 2 streams at a time. I have been doing 2 streams daily since they added the Xbox, no work around needed. They may have unofficially Grandfathered in long term customers??
      AboveAverageJoe
  • RE: Netflix may begin offering family plans with multiple simultaneous stream options later this year

    If I could get an exra stream or 2 I would cancel my DVD plan with them and just go streaming only. I bet the streaming is more profitable for them anyway.
    tgschmidt
    • RE: Netflix may begin offering family plans with multiple simultaneous stream options later this year

      @tgschmidt Same here. DVD is annoying to keep up with, except many title will never be streamed.
      jeff.fostermedia@...
      • RE: Netflix may begin offering family plans with multiple simultaneous stream options later this year

        @jeff.fostermedia@... that is exactly why I kept the DVD plan. I wish the content publishers would figure out something so we can get streams of any movie, rather than only certain ones at certain times. I'd like to watch a movie series back to back, but they usually have several of them not available.
        grayknight-22253692004129760887070084760051
  • 2 or more streams

    if you have 2 or more dvd's you get 2 streams. 3 dvds get 3 streams and up to 4 you can get 4 streams.
    smileyjared