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Netflix Raises Unlimited Plan Prices And Offers Stream-only Service

post #1 of 90
Thread Starter 
Netflix Raises Unlimited Plan Prices And Offers Stream-only Service


Netflix Inc said it will offer its first unlimited streaming-only subscription plan in the United States for $7.99 a month, and raise prices of its popular unlimited streaming and unlimited DVD plans by a dollar -- eventually shifting away from its mail business. Netflix shares rose 7 percent to $184.71 in morning trading following the announcement. The move is part of Netflix's push to phase out its DVD-by- mail business, said Gabelli & Company analyst Brett Harriss. "For a while, the goal of the company was to change its business model from DVDs to streaming because it recognizes the DVD has a limited shelf life at this time and streaming has higher margins," Harriss said. The company said on Monday the plan will take effect immediately for new subscribers and in January for current members. Netflix, which gained success as a DVD rent-by-mail service, ended the third quarter with 16.9 million members in the United States and Canada. It debuted its first streaming-only service in Canada in September. Its streaming video library is still tiny compared with its DVD by-mail selection and Harriss said the company would have to continue spending on expensive content deals to boost its digital offerings.

For links and more stories visit the new Streaming Media section at HomeToys.com
post #2 of 90
Gotta say, I'm pretty disappointed with Netflix for this one...

Call me a whiner if you want, but I don't like the pricing of the streaming-only plan. If it was $6.99 or $5.99, I'd switch to streaming only in a heartbeat. The fact of the matter though is that to save $1 (from the current price, $2 from the new price), you lose a large amount of Netflix's overall library to select from. I'm pointing my finger mostly at TV shows, but it applies across the board that Netflix still is lacking in the streaming department. I'm not saying they're not strong, even excellent. But to save $1 from what I'm currently paying? Not worth it.

I think in order to make this work it should drop an extra $1-2. Otherwise it seems like the $10 1-disc plan is still the way to go (at least for me). Which reminds me, I'm not opposed to the $1 increase on the 1-disc plan. Physical media has certain overhead when compared to streaming. (And it works the opposite way too, but to a lesser extent)

Another nice feature would be to add a "per-disc" fee to the streaming account, such that you could pay $1.50 for a disc that isn't streamable yet and then return it before you are able to spend another $1.50 (or however much) on renting another disc.

Anyone else feel the same?
post #3 of 90
I'm never happy with price increases but I like Netflix and use it a lot and don't feel the streaming service is totally prime time yet--not enough that I would want to get rid of the disk at home service. I have 3 at home with Blu Ray option and will keep it as long as they continue to send the Blu Ray discs I want in a timely manner. Hopefully streaming will continue to evolve enough so the mail service will no longer be necessary--but I doubt that will be anytime soon. Especially when compared to Blu Ray.
post #4 of 90
Not happy at all about the $3 increase for 3 discs with BD access. I might drop back to 2 after this month.
post #5 of 90
They pulled Farscape from streaming last week. I was in the middle of watching the series. What else have they pulled/are they going to pull from streaming? Why would I want to switch to streaming-only under these conditions?

Sad to see options for renting discs slowly drying up. I rent so I don't have to buy every disc I want to see. Streaming is no where near reaching the video and audio quality of Blu-ray, and with the limitations of bandwidth on the Internet, I doubt it will ever match Blu-ray.
post #6 of 90
Everyone would be cool with streaming only, even prefer it, if they had bluray quality video and sound. Until they do that many of us will continue with bluray. Currently streaming is only for DVD or TV shows that weren't ever filmed in HD. I guess now that they have some HD feeds to PS3 that helps, but we're going to pay for HD audio/video or we won't pay at all.
post #7 of 90
I have no problem with the current streaming availability, but the least they could do is increase the quality. Hell, the Starz Play titles are still being shown in 4:3 when most of the ones they offer are readily available in HD.
post #8 of 90
I'm perfectly happy with my 1-out BD with streaming. We get roughly 5 movies a month, plus countless others through streaming. Show me another place I can get that for $11/month.

Would they get more customers if streaming-only was $5/month? Probably. Is $8/month too much for streaming-only? No.
post #9 of 90
It's a fine price provided they have A) content and B) quality. Presently, they're lacking both.
post #10 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmCutter View Post

Everyone would be cool with streaming only, even prefer it, if they had bluray quality video and sound. Until they do that many of us will continue with bluray. Currently streaming is only for DVD or TV shows that weren't ever filmed in HD. I guess now that they have some HD feeds to PS3 that helps, but we're going to pay for HD audio/video or we won't pay at all.

Of course this assumes everybody who uses Netflix has a reliable high speed internet connection. Reality is not everyone does (for a variety of reasons).
post #11 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by In2Photos View Post

Not happy at all about the $3 increase for 3 discs with BD access. I might drop back to 2 after this month.

I have to agree, and will probably do the same. A 17.5% price increase, is just way to much. I already dropped blu-ray access when they jacked the price of that up.
post #12 of 90
..not to pick on netflix but these service companies have lost their minds....I like technology...I've invested in more than my share over the years but I've had just about enough with bottomless monthly "fees".....
post #13 of 90
Funny Thing:

Last week I canceled my Netflix completely. The reason: Over the past month I have compared what's available from netflix (streamed or mail) against newer releases being available from Redbox.

I found more and newer New BluRay releases were available sooner from Redbox than from Netflix
post #14 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by msmCutter View Post

It's a fine price provided they have A) content and B) quality. Presently, they're lacking both.

It's not perfect, I'll wholeheartedly agree with that...

But, the truth of the matter is that it's getting better. As long as it continues to do that, and I can continue to find shows that I want to catch up on via the streaming (shows like Eureka, or Battlestar Galactica, or even older movies like The Sting & The Godfather that my wife hasn't seen yet), I'm ok with it.

And the PS3 Netflix streaming is pretty good, I have to say...Again, not GREAT, but certainly not as bad as it could be.

I will admit that I used to torrent TV shows until I found Netflix. Now, being legit and finding a lot of the shows I want on the Watch Instantly that I can enjoy? I'm satisfied with that.
post #15 of 90
I just switched to the "streaming only" option. Have had good to great results with it via my PS3, and as Netflix continues to ramp up its instant titles, HD and surround sound output, it's just going to be cheaper and easier to use the streaming option. Granted, there may be isolated titles that aren't available via streaming, but that's what the internet is for.

post #16 of 90
Went from two discs with Blu-ray and streaming down to one disc with Blu-ray and streaming. My main gripe is that there are certain new releases that are in my queue that have been "long wait" now for months.

I've been trying to watch the final season of Lost since it aired (stupid me should have just DVR'd the episodes when they aired), and to this day I still cant get the first disc of season 6, and it's not available to stream.

Netflix is a great service, but raising prices when they don't have enough discs to satisfy demand is a colossal screwup.

So because of the price increase, they will now be getting less money from me.
post #17 of 90
Streaming is fine for smaller screens but the current quality simply won't cut it on our 12 wide screen. I will be dropping the 3 at a time plan to a single disk and will up my use of redbox now that they have blurays available. I was very disappointed to see the price increase. Remember that the streaming is limited to six devices and in our house that leaves us about 5 devices short when you count everyones iphones and bluray players, not to mention laptops and netbooks....
post #18 of 90
First it was $1 more for Bluray, then $4 more. Now a $1 per disc increase(3 for me).

Now my decision is whether to step down to 1 or 2 discs at a time.

I wonder how many others are contemplating this? Though, it's ultimately netflix's goal to eliminate disc rental, perhaps they are pushing for it too soon?

Fact Remains, Streaming =/= Discs. When I can get Bluray quality sound/picture/features/chapters/etc from streaming without comcast throttling me for watching it, along with a wide selection of more current content, then we'll talk.

One thing is for certain, share holders are excited. And if Blockbuster ever goes completely under, expect prices to go higher.
post #19 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidcrowe View Post

Streaming is fine for smaller screens but the current quality simply won't cut it on our 12 wide screen. I will be dropping the 3 at a time plan to a single disk and will up my use of redbox now that they have blurays available. I was very disappointed to see the price increase. Remember that the streaming is limited to six devices and in our house that leaves us about 5 devices short when you count everyones iphones and bluray players, not to mention laptops and netbooks....

I'm sure netflix would be very happy if you had another account for Streaming Only. Margins are better.
post #20 of 90
I was thinking about streaming only but now Charter just imposed a bandwith cap on all of us users so that idea just flew out the windows. I am thinking about just dropping it all together and just do Redbox rentals and the occasional trip to Family Video Store. I wonder what will happen to the Netflix streaming plan if all of the Providers start imposing caps?
post #21 of 90
I very rarely use the streaming. Actually the only reason we have netflix in the house is because my gf loves it. Most people on a forum like this have already seen most of the movies available to stream or would rather rent them on bluray for higher quality. Although I do find the streaming quality to be good enough.

They have stated that they would like to do away with the disc rentals. Sometimes I can be patient but trying to get a new release from netflix can be frustrating. I refuse to go in a video store or rent a disc from redbox that I have to return. About the only choice is to pay 5 bucks from somewhere like vudu to rent it. The selection is so spotty I don't see how you could rely on netflix streaming to keep up on any kind of tv series. It would be great if they could offer all the network tv shows even if they were a few weeks behind.

The wait on discs are terrible, streaming selection is even worse, for me personally I see little value in netflix no matter how cheap they are. Most of the networks didn't want to get on board for the 99 cent tv shows from amazon or appletv because they were worried that someone could see the show cheaper than buying the box set. I guess I will stay with my ota dvr and not pay them at all then.

With all the shenanigans from the studios and streaming companies they are driving people to torrents, etc. Sorry if I went off on a rant but I'm not seeing legal options for affordable movie rentals and tv shows.
post #22 of 90
Thanks the Gods we still have Block Buster around, hopefully! Well I knew this was coming, I've hear several of my co-worker crowing about how great none stop streaming has been for them, boy are they getting a rude awaking!

DJOel
post #23 of 90
Pfft! I would much prefer to keep my 3-at-a-time with Bluray at the same price and dump the streaming option altogether. Streaming just totally s**ks...

Quote:
Originally Posted by In2Photos View Post

Not happy at all about the $3 increase for 3 discs with BD access. I might drop back to 2 after this month.

Mmm, no, I'm thinking just the opposite... I might up my plan to 5-at-a-time, or whatever their maximum rental amount is - just so before they decide to stop shipping Blu-ray discs altogether, I would be able to "backup" many more rentals in a shorter period of time...
post #24 of 90
Unless 100% of the catalog is streamed, and it is NOT, then this is just a price increase for their subscribers - nothing more, nothing less.

Those of you who have Netflix accounts know that what is availble streamed is very limited and is usually the worst movies in thier catalog. All the "prime" material is not available streamed.
post #25 of 90
My name is Nolanski and I'm an HD addict.
Streaming is OK but it's the last way I'll watch anything...for now it sucks as far as sound and picture.

I have been a member almost since they started.

On top of that NF has been faltering at least in the sense of what they were.

1. The top disc by mail biz now has to wait about 30 days before they can rent some of he best new releases.

2. Almost anything released on BD was available right away from NF...not anymore. Eric Clapton's new Crossroads and the Sound of Music are not available neither is the new version of Avatar.

3. Getting new titles requires some finesse in operating ones cue...wasn't much of an issue before.

And now they want to steer<< intended us to shi$$y streaming that's not even DVD quality.....
post #26 of 90
Thinking of switching to Blockbuster online or Redbox now. The waiting time for new release on Netflix is just unbelievably long. The online streaming feature is nice, but the audio/video quality is nowhere close to bluray, especially on my 120'' screen. I have been thinking of quitting Netflix for a while, and this might be the last straw.
post #27 of 90
I've been a netflix member but am canceling, the streaming s#@!!!!
Back to blockbuster
post #28 of 90
I recommend those dissatisfied to call them up: http://www.netflix.com/ContactUs

I did it today and they were very receptive to feedback.
post #29 of 90
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharkcohen View Post

They pulled Farscape from streaming last week. I was in the middle of watching the series. What else have they pulled/are they going to pull from streaming? Why would I want to switch to streaming-only under these conditions?

Sad to see options for renting discs slowly drying up. I rent so I don't have to buy every disc I want to see. Streaming is no where near reaching the video and audio quality of Blu-ray, and with the limitations of bandwidth on the Internet, I doubt it will ever match Blu-ray.

Not only the question of whether the internet is able to handle the traffic of unlimited streaming (debatable), it would pay to keep in mind that the likes of Comcast, etc., (cable TV) and the phone networks, etc., (closely tied to satellite TV), also control the vast majority of broadband access into the home.

While Netflix has a noble goal of unlimited streaming at a user-friendly price, content owners and broadband providers might have something to say about that. Cable providers already limit bandwidth and I live with the limitations of DSL every day with not much hope of that improving anytime soon.
post #30 of 90
Wow I haven't used Netflix or even kept up on them in a while but I've just looked around and this service is now shxt. B&M rental places should be getting my business again.
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