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Netflix outs $8 stream-only plan in the US, hikes DVD rates

updated 10:00 am EST, Mon November 22, 2010

Netflix stream-only plan goes live in the US

Netflix today took its hinted streaming-only plan live in the US. Already available in Canada, the option gives unlimited access to the Watch Instantly catalog but doesn't include physical DVD rentals. The feature is pitched at those who rely primarily on Internet-capable TVs, set-top boxes, computers and mobile hardware like the iPad.

Along with the cheaper streaming option, however, Netflix has also raised the prices that include physical disks, adding $1 per month to the one- and two-disc simultaneous plans to bring them to $10 and $15 and adding as much as $8 for an eight-at-once plan that now costs $56. Netflix justified the increase by saying it would let it give the Internet-only choice without sacrificing its mail options.

DVD-only rental is unchanged at $5 but is capped at two DVDs per month.

Streaming has become one of the most popular options for Netflix as the catalog has become large enough to satisfy more users. The company has been striking pay TV deals and 28-day delay deals that, while behind traditional rentals, have included major movies and TV shows that have often been locked out. Blockbuster's recent bankruptcy has been credited directly to Netflix as the lower pricing and much wider catalog of both DVDs and streaming have made it difficult for Blockbuster to compete.



By Electronista Staff
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Comments

  1. B9bot

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2008

    +2

    Just cancelled my 3 dVD plan

    Just cancelled my 3 DVD plan, its a RIP OFF!!!!

  1. chris2519

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jul 2008

    +4

    Their Streaming Service is great... with a big BUT

    BUT they have GOT to expand that library!! Any time I want to watch something, there is maybe a 30% chance that it will be available instantly. More often than not, I have to order the physical DVD. The streaming service itself is fantastic -- so great that it makes it even more frustrating when the title I want is not available to stream and I have to wait days for the post office to bring a disk. (What used to seem so state-of-the-art and clever--DVD delivery by internet -- now seems so backwards and absurd. There is no question in my mind that DVDs will cease to exist sometime very soon.)

  1. Jittery Jimmy

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2006

    +4

    Streaming and Rip-Offs

    Unfortunately, not all copyright holders permit Netflix to stream their content. And therefore, it seems impossible, without a change to copyright regulations, that Netflix will ever be able to offer all the video you want "instantly". Talk to your congressman to figure out where he or she stands on copyright regulations before complaining about anyone's ability to stream content.

    In terms of Netflix pricing, you have to figure that each back-and-forth of a DVD costs about $1 (the mailer plus round-trip postage) before any overhead (lost and damaged discs, the web site, etc).

    So if you're on the 3 DVD at a time plan, and you get about 9 DVDs per month, that means that about $9 of that $19.99 goes into mailing alone. Then Netflix has to do things like buy and warehouse the DVDs, run a web site, provide you with streaming rights, etc.

    It doesn't seem to me like it is a rip-off, but perhaps you can find a lower cost provider elsewhere. If so, let us all know what it is.

  1. ctt61

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jun 2005

    -2

    Time for Redbox and Blockbuster Express

    Really do not care what is the actual cost for netflix but my 3DVD plus blu-ray now become $24 plus tax. it is too much. membership cancel. start using redbox and blockbuster express. $1.50 per blu-ray release. netflix will not give partial month cancel.

  1. mortie

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2008

    0

    Deferred release

    What's really frustrating to me about Netflix is that they have deferred release dates (Scott Pilgrim not available until the first week of December?!?) - bad negotiation.

    Still a great deal as I get the one Blu-ray/DVD at a time plus streaming, but +1 about the lack of quality choices in their library.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: Just cancelled my 3 dVD plan

    Just cancelled my 3 DVD plan, its a RIP OFF!!!!

    Yeah, being able to have 3 DVDs on hand at all times, getting to watch some 20 movies a month. For $20? Forget that!

    I'm switching to an ATV and renting movies from Apple. Sure, 20 movies will cost me some $60+, but that's not the point.

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001

    0

    Re: Time for Redbox and Blockbuster Express

    Really do not care what is the actual cost for netflix

    Yeah, what the h*** is that all about? This is why I keep saying Apple should slash the prices of all their devices in half. It's about the consumer, not about making money, turning a profit, etc.

    but my 3DVD plus blu-ray now become $24 plus tax. it is too much. membership cancel. start using redbox and blockbuster express. $1.50 per blu-ray release. netflix will not give partial month cancel.

    Don't forget to add in all that time heading to the store to get your new movie. Hope it's available, too.

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