News — July 12, 2011 at 6:27 pm

NETFLIX CHANGING UP SUBSCRIPTION PLANS ONCE AGAIN

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Netflix announced today on its official blog that it will once again be switching up its subscription plans, this time by separating its two services: the DVD’s by mail and the streaming Watch Instantly. Having just the streaming serice will remain at 7.99 a month, and having 1 DVD at a time unlimited a month will also be 7.99. This represents a 60% price hike for consumers who like to indulge in both, as the old plan that combined Watch Instantly with 1 DVD at a time came out to 9.99 a month and with this change goes up to 15.98 a month. Why the change? Because apparently there’s still a high demand for DVD’s by mail and having the new low price point for just that service will get people on board. I don’t buy it, but there it is.

Initially I was upset when I read the blog post and got the corresponding email, but as the hours have passed, I’m less fuming. 16 bucks a month for unlimited everything is still a damn good deal for what you’re getting, although having to pay an extra 5 bucks a month isn’t that enticing. It’s also a shame that this rule will be applied to everyone, new member or longtime subscriber; it would have been a good move on their end to keep the 9.99 deal for people who already have it as a way of saying “thanks for your loyalty”. But hey, buying streaming rights isn’t cheap and the money needs to come from somewhere I guess.

This new pricing plan takes affect immediately for new subscribers, and will start on September 1st for everyone else.

Does this in any way affect your loyalty to Netflix? And for those who don’t already subscribe, does separating the two services entice you in any way?

18 Comments

  • I rarely use streaming as I much prefer having the physical DVDs. Plus the streaming selection is 80% garbage. That said, I will be canceling my streaming plan and keep the 2 DVD plan. I will actually be saving money. I win, once again.

    • I’m the complete opposite. I live off of the streaming, from the PS3 in the big room to the Roku box hooked up in my bedroom. Still it’s nice to also get physical DVD’s and the massive library of Netflix will help assuage my fears of going into debt.

      Also is there really ever a time you DON’T win? 😛

  • I think my monthly payment will only go up by a dollar. I think I can handle that.

    If it weren’t for my podcast, I’d probably cut the dvds. I never get new releases from Netflix because they always end up having the longest waiting list. Those are a lot easier to grab from Red Box anyway. I’d never ditch Streaming, mainly for all the tv shows it provides.

    • I’m not big on new releases to be honest; I use the DVD by mail service to check out movies over the years I never got to see on the big screen due to it being only in limited release or not having time, or to check out older classics that seem to make everyone’s “BEST OF ALL-TIME OMG!” lists.

      Depending on Amazon’s selection though with its Instant rentals, I may cut the DVD’s.

  • If I want to watch both older movies and new movies I have to subscribe to both the DVD by mail service and the streaming because neither option contains their whole catalog of movies. Anyone have a recommendation for another movie subscription company that has a better catalog that Netflix because I think their stinks.

  • I use the streaming rarely, and it’s usually just on the breaks when I don’t have anything else exciting to watch. I’m going to just stick with getting discs in the mail and give up the streaming. The quality is generally better, and the streaming doesn’t always work. Plus, the selection isn’t that great. I also can use the local library more, which has a pretty good selection.

    Considered on its own, the total price isn’t that crazy for both services. However, it’s another step in a long line of anti-customer practices by Netflix. Most people I know used to rave about them and enjoy the features on the site. Now, many people don’t even subscribe anymore. This will just push more people away. Netflix was already making huge profits, so I think pushing through such a large increase is going to further hurt their reputation, which isn’t a good long-term move. The competition is rising on the streaming front too, so alienating long-time customers is short-sighted.

    • The move is not an unexpected one, and not necessarily an evil one in its own right, but I think they handled it pretty terribly. Had they either grandfathered existing customers in or stepped the price up slowly, the reaction right now would likely be negligible. But I assume that a lot of their customer base – the majority? – currently has this combo package, and a 60%, one-time hike is always going to rile people, even if they’re like me (and Jonathan, and Castor, though he’s the opposite), where we’re only taking advantage of one side and won’t really miss the other.

      Had they done a $3.00 increase now and another one in a year, it would have gone done a lot easier.

      • Exactly. Netflix would probably have earned more money (and less anger) but just adding $3 to the entire unlimited package. People might be upset, but the vitriol would be less. Most people would just accept the cost, and the cancellations would be low.

        In a sense, they’re splitting their customers, so many will actually pay less now and generate lower profits. I’m going to drop the streaming and actually pay $2 less. A lot of people will drop the DVDs and pay less for streaming. Another large group will just quit entirely. Netflix loses in at least two of these scenarios, if not all three. It’s just a really awful PR move.

  • From an outsider wh can’t even get netflix it still looks like a great deal to me, but it”s never good when prices go up.

  • It sounds like a “we’re the only game in town” move, and they aren’t quite the only game in town yet. Will I still subscribe? Yeah, I will. There are too many movies that I want/need to see that I can get from them more easily than any other way.

    But it feels like a bit of a needless dick move.

    • Bingo. It probably makes sense to them for a number of reasons, and their spin (cheaper for either option!) is pretty weak.

  • I pay almost $30.00 a month for Netflix and still think it’s completely worth it. But last year I watched over 400 movies. Casual movie watchers should be angry; a 50+% jump is big. But the value they’re delivering is worth the new price. They’re not the only game in town but they’re by far the best.

    • Good christ, man. You can’t find a better option than $30/month? What about those libraries that Whitney’s pushing you to use?

      • I’m a big proponent of libraries. I have access to my school’s library, my local public library, the library in the city I work in, and the huge library at the large university in my home town. Libraries are great…but…

        Libraries don’t do new technology well. None of the libraries I frequent have much of (or any of) a Blu-Ray collection, for instance. Not big for me since I don’t have a Blu-Ray player, but if you want the latest, they don’t have it. They also tend to be behind the times on big films. They get some, but hardly all.

        Libraries are great for the oddball films, the foreign classics, and the indie films you heard about from the friend of a friend.

        Of course, that’s what RedBox is for, right?

    • How many DVDs do you get for 30 bucks? I get 2 and it was 15 bucks.

  • This is bs. Blu-ray and DVD prices are coming down. I really fear everything going to streaming and then how are we going to get special features and commentary tracks?

    • I’m sure commentary and other stuff will eventually find its way onto streaming. Wave of the future, although I do enjoy a tangible product every now and then.

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