Netflix Offers $7.99 Streaming-Only Plan, Raises Prices On Existing Plans

Since Netflix began offering its streaming video library, many customers have been asking for an option to go disc-free. Today, they got what they wished for as the company announced a $7.99/month plan for streaming-only. On the down side, they are also raising rates on those with existing unlimited disc-and-streaming plans.

From the Netflix blog:

Why the changes? Our selection of TV episodes and movies available to stream has grown dramatically, and as a result most members want us to deliver unlimited TV episodes and movies two ways: streaming instantly over the internet plus DVDs by mail. The price increase will allow us to continue to offer the popular plan choice of unlimited TV episodes and movies streaming instantly along with unlimited DVDs. The new plan, which does not include DVDs, is a great option for the increasing number of members who only want to watch instantly. The $7.99 a month price reflects no DVD shipping costs on this plan.

As for an option of DVD-only, Netflix says that’s just not in the cards.

Below is a chart with all the price increases. Will you be switching over to streaming-only?

pricegrid.jpg

A new plan for watching instantly, plus price changes to existing unlimited plans [Netflix]

Comments

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  1. Portlandia says:

    Nice, switching to 1 dvd this week!

    Now to find the 3 dvds I’ve been sitting on for the past year.

    • grucifer says:

      Yea, I signed up for Netflix well over a year ago and have no idea where the 1 DVD I ordered is.

      I’ve moved since that time so it’s a bit of a double whammy, looks like I may just never be allowed to cancel/downgrade.

      • Supes says:

        Just tell them it’s lost…. they’re actually surprisingly good about that, as long as you don’t make a habit of it.

        • grucifer says:

          Oh yea? Good to know, I’ll talk to them and see what they say. Thanks!

          • Remmy75 says:

            Yes you can say I lost it and pay for the disk, its like 15 bucks. I did that recently when I lost one, and you have up to a year to find it. I found the it it like 3 months later and mailed it back in and they immediately credited my credit card for the lost disk charge.

        • DanRydell says:

          I hope you’re referring to the option to indicate that the CUSTOMER lost the DVD and would like to pay for it.

          • Supes says:

            Of course. I don’t think anyone would believe him if he said USPS lost it (after having it for a year) anyway. I’m just saying he’s not stuck in the plan or something.

          • Portlandia says:

            Must be difficult being the manager of the world….I don’t envy your position.

            end sarcasm.

    • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

      Yeah, I’ve been on the 2-DVD plan for a while now, it’s really good for series because we can get two discs, watch one, return it, watch the next disc the following day and return it, the third day we usually have the third disc… so long as we keep up with sending them out, it’s a regular marathon of episodes. :D

      But we do not do that very often, I’ve been talking with the housemates about downgrading.

    • smirkette says:

      My thought exactly. I should be cutting my monthly expenses anyway. Good reason to do so.

    • mikeP says:

      I agree. Many people like myself arent using the DVD stuff much, but dont mind the 16 bucks to support Netflix.

      By jacking up the price by THREE DOLLARS (20% or so), they are making it very unattractive. The 2 dvd plan only got a 1 dollar boost.

      So yes, I along with many others I presume will be doing to the 1 DVD plan in the very near future.

      • coren says:

        Each plan got a $1 per DVD increase but the 2 a month plan, so it’s fairly proportionate. I imagine that specific plan is more popular or something and that’s why it didn’t get the increase.

    • One-Eyed Jack says:

      We’ve been on a 4-DVD plan for EVER, now we’ll be dropping down to 2 DVDs since the price is going up. The DVDs sit on the shelf for a long time, anyway, before we get around to watching them. I wish they’d drop the Blu-Ray upcharge.

    • poco says:

      Yep. Same here. I’ve been doing two at a time for years, but not anymore.

  2. cyberpenguin says:

    I won’t switch over to streaming only, but I will downgrade to 2 discs at a time.

    • Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

      Yeah, I’m miffed at the jump in increase between 2 and 3 discs. I had been considering 3 discs starting next year, and now will not.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Me too, I really liked having 3 disks out at a time, but now I’ll be switching back to 2. It’s not worth it at the new price.

    • tmac40 says:

      I don’t understand this pricing at all. To add a second disc cost an additional 5 dollars. A third disc cost another $5. Then to add a fourth disc costs $8 and a fifth disc costs $7. Why are they trying to discourage people from renting 4 at a time? Should each additional disc cost less, or at least the same? A 20% increase on the three-at-a-time plan is ridiculous and I will be downgrading. Congratulations Netflix you succeeded in getting less money from me.

  3. Supes says:

    I wonder how many people will switch from their current plan to streaming only, my guess is a lot. This is such a good deal, same price as Hulu Plus but so much more content (and no ads!).

  4. framitz says:

    Thanks for the update. Switched to streaming only.

  5. GearheadGeek says:

    Theoretically the streaming-only plan is appealing, but as a long-time Netflix customer, the number of even older releases only available on DVD keeps me from giving up the DVD option in my plan.

    • notovny says:

      Agreed. While the vast majority of what I’ve watched lately has been through streaming, I go through enough discs per month to mean that I’m still sticking with the 2/month plan.

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      Yes, me too. They’re putting more and more on streaming though, so perhaps someday…when I can afford to spring for a Roku box.

  6. DJSeanMac says:

    I welcome this wholeheartedly. Netflix streaming currently offers a restored print of 80s camp classic TerrorVision. I haven’t seen it in any video store since 1988 and I don’t know the movie would get a proper marketing push on DVD. But a free stream with the Netflix plan? Oh yeah, it’s going to find a large audience.

    • Speak says:

      My girlfriend just saw this over the weekend and said I have to watch it too. If it was only on DVD I would probably just glance over it and get something else.

    • pot_roast says:

      Sadly, I admit to having seen that movie multiple times. It’s definitely a B movie classic.

      Netflix seems to have more and more and more B-rated slop these days, though. I have the 1 disc at a time plan and will be sticking to that until the streaming selection improves a whole lot more.
      Also, the studios need to stop expiring stuff off of the streaming catalog. That’s ridiculous and aside from idiotic licensing, there’s no technical reason for it.

  7. pop top says:

    We have the one-disc plan and I’d say our usage is probably 80% streaming and 20% DVD. While it would be nice to switch to streaming-only, there are still a lot of movies and TV shows on our queue (over 170 at the moment) that are disc-only. I can see this being great for a lot of people, but I think we’re going to stick with our plan, even with the price increase.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Yeah. I immediately thought about switching to streaming only, but then I remembered that three of the things I added to my queue are disc-only. Without knowing whether the movies will eventually go to streaming, I’m not willing to go 100% streaming yet. I will switch us to the 1-dvd though.

    • jesusofcool says:

      Yeah I think the price increase is a little hard to swallow for this reason. When I first started with Netflix I was on a 1 DVD at a time plan for 4.99 and that was pretty much perfect for me.
      The streaming has been steadily improving but I still don’t think the selection is there. It’s still haphazard and slated heavily towards old stuff and B movies. It’s not too great if you’re making your way through a list rather than just browsing. I find myself using it to watch a bunch of things I’ve already seen.

  8. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    I tried streaming only, but was really dissatisfied with the amount of selection of movies they’ve got. Don’t switch to streaming-only under the false assumption that every movie they’ve got on disc is available streaming. Otherwise you’ll be stuck watching old episodes of Amen or obscure indie flicks.

    • homer2324 says:

      exactly, most of the blockbuster movies are not available online.

      Eg. Alice In Wonder (2010) was in theater in March, in DVD in June but only become available on streaming in NOV…

  9. Amnesiac85 says:

    Definitely switching down to the one disc + streaming plan now.

  10. macnbc says:

    My only problem with Netflix these days is that it seems like they just don’t care about Bluray any more. Over the past month or so there have been some fantastic bluray releases out there like Back to The Future and the Alien Anthology. Does Netflix carry them? Nope.

    I’m also a fan of the Doctor Who series but while they’ve carried every other bluray release of the show, the most recent season, #5, is only available on DVD.

    I wouldn’t mind so much if I weren’t paying extra for the bluray plan. What gives?

    • keen314 says:

      “Over the past month or so there have been some fantastic bluray releases out there like Back to The Future and the Alien Anthology. Does Netflix carry them? Nope.”

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netflix#Disc_rental
      Check the last paragraph in that section.

      • JohnnyP says:

        Starting January 6, 2010, Netflix reached an agreement with Warner Brothers Pictures to delay renting new releases for 28 days from their retail release in an attempt to help studios sell more physical media at retail outlets. A similar deal with Universal Studios and Twentieth Century Fox was reached on April 9, 2010

        What does that have to do when its already on Netflix via DVD but not Bluray?

  11. justsomeguy says:

    As much as I would like to switch over to streaming only, I just can’t do it until they upgrade the selection. If the streaming service offered 75% of what is available on DVD, I would switch without hesitation. Unfortunately, the net effect of this change is a monthly fee increase for the offering the exact same service. I don’t understand how they can justify charging $8 a month for a far inferior service than the DVD plan.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Because your tastes aren’t the same as someone else’s? Clearly enough people have been asking for a streaming-only plan, and it’s not like Netflix is taking away the discs. I’ve used streaming more than I have the DVD portion of the plan, and many others are the same way. For the people who switch to streaming only, they clearly have not found enough materials to justify the DVD only feature.

      • justsomeguy says:

        It’s not about personal tastes, it is about selection plain and simple. I’m pretty sure that everything that is available on streaming is available as a DVD. The reverse is not true. I welcome the streaming only option, I just think it is over-priced based on the market that Netflix set for themselves. I am now getting charged an extra dollar a month for the exact same services that were offered before. I understand that prices go up, but that is not how this is being presented. It is being sold as an increase in services when that isn’t what happened at all.

        I am glad that people who are satisfied with the streaming only service now have that option, but I think it is over-priced and has allowed Netflix to raise their prices for me. I think the streaming option should have been offered at a lower price and the existing plans allowed to stay at the same price. If and when Netflix brings the streaming selection in line with the DVD selection, I will gleefully switch to the streaming only plan.

  12. aka_mich says:

    What I’d like to know is there any kind of cap for the streaming only?

  13. gqcarrick says:

    If everything was available on streaming I would gladly move to that, but it isn’t. This price change is pretty bad. Make everything available on streaming and then people will be more likely to switch.

  14. stanner says:

    Wow, jacking the 3DVD rate up by over 17% seems kind of a jump. I’ll be downgrading my plan.

    • Pax says:

      It’s $1 extra, per DVD you have out.

    • nybiker says:

      And guess what. That percentage increase is the biggest of them all: 17.657%

      The 1-disc is 11.123%. The 4-,5-,6-,7-, and 8-disc plans are being jacked up by the piddling rate of 16.67%. /sarcasm as to piddling.

      And for all these plans, your respective state/local sales tax is also added, so for me (and others), here in the Big Apple, $1.77 will be added for a grand new total of $21.76 for the 3-disc plan.

      I am not planning on moving down, but we shall see. I am thinking of asking for a Roku box as a gift this holiday season. Maybe then I could justify the step-down.

      • stanner says:

        Hmmm, in looking at my (3 DVD) account, it looks like we’re grandfathered in at the lower rate, at least for now.

  15. Matt says:

    I couldn’t do streaming only. The selection is inferior as it is and, on top of that, some things occasionally disappear. If that weren’t enough, I can’t get consistent quality from the stream that matches Blu-ray. I love streaming for listening to stand-up at work and 80s TV but it would suck as the only option.

  16. Christopher Wilson says:

    I wish they’d let you have multiple instant queues. Since my family shares an account, the queue is full of everyone’s stuff.

    • aka_mich says:

      This

      I don’t have the same issues with multiple family members but I would like a better way to organize and separate it. They got it kinda right on Xbox live with the different categories but the majority of the time I just end up back on my own queue since their recommendations do not appeal to me.

    • searonson says:

      I wish they would just use folders or tags or some easier ways to organize it.

    • bearda says:

      I’d pay extra to have multiple queues and profiles. I really liked the recommendations Netflix would bring up on my Xbox until my wife was home sick from work for a few days. Now they’re… much less desirable.

  17. Daverson says:

    Streaming only? No way. Too much of what I want to watch is still only available on disk.

  18. Macgyver says:

    I just changed my plan from 1 DVD, to just streaming. I’ve been with them for a couple years and I have never rented a DVD, I only do streaming.
    But the new plan won’t take effect until 12/22.

  19. Snarkster says:

    I cut my cable plan a while back and am only watching local channels. Maybe I should give this a try. Can anyone recommend the best device to use to stream to my HDTV via HDMI and wired or wifi internet? I see many new TVs and disc players can stream, but I see no reason to replace what I have already. While my PC is connected to the TV as second monitor (long HDMI cable), I think a TV-friendly user interface would be more convenient. Also, I’ve no game consoles here and don’t feel any reason to have one. Advice anyone?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      You don’t want a game console, but you do want a box you can use to stream Netflix. But you don’t want to replace your blu-ray player or TV.

      Sounds like Roku is your best option here.

    • pop top says:

      There is a thing called a Roku box, but I’ve never used it so I can’t say what it’s like one way or the other.

    • Supes says:

      I agree with the sentiments already expressed that Roku is a great option.

      There are other options out there, but they’re all pricier or not as good (game systems, TIVO Premiere, internet capable TV, new Blu-Ray, Boxee, etc.).

    • MrTreoZ says:

      I started streaming with the Netflix option in my Sony Blu-ray player, but bought a Roku box for another TV and love it! You can add movies to the Instant queue right from the Roku box – no computer needed like with the BD player. It’s a faster interface with more features as well. Roku is adding channels fast and works great. The remote on the new models supposedly has a replay (last x seconds) button that I miss on my older one. The remote and interface could also use a consistent “Back” option. I’d say go Roku for the win. Go to their website to see demos and some of the channels.

      Oh, another plus for Roku. I bought mine for normal price and noticed after I already had it installed that there was a $10 off coupon available. They actually credited me the difference! It’s so unusual to be treated fairly these days. Nice work Roku.

    • Snarkster says:

      Thanks everyone, I will definitely give the Roku a look.

  20. Pax says:

    Just FYI, having checked my own account?

    Anyone who was on a plan already, is “grandfathered” at their old price.

    The new price for “1 DVD & unlimited streaming” is $9.99, the old price is $8.99, and I have not been forced, prompted, or even asked to alter my plan, nor accept the new, higher price.

    • pop top says:

      You should probably try reading the article that was linked. It directed you to check the Membership Details of your account, which for me, has in big bold letters at the top:

      The price of your 1 DVD out at-a-time (Unlimited) plan will change to $9.99 (plus any applicable tax) a month starting with your next billing period on or after Jan 02, 2011.

      • waffles says:

        Mine says

        “Your plan is no longer offered

        You are currently on the 1 DVD out at-a-time (Unlimited) for $8.99 plan which is no longer offered. If you select a new plan, you will no longer be able to return to this plan.”

        Which I’m assuming means I’m staying at that price.

        • pop top says:

          I wouldn’t assume anything like that. You should call or e-mail them and specifically ask so you don’t possibly lose service or something.

          • coren says:

            I wouldn’t – that’ll probably prompt Netflix to change their plan so they’re stuck on something new.

        • One-Eyed Jack says:

          I got an email today saying our rate was going up (4-disc plan grandfathered in at the 3-disc price). So check your in-box or spambox. You should be notified.

      • bifyu says:

        I’m on a grandfathered 4-disc plan, and just received notice that it would be jacked up +$3/month.

    • UltimateOutsider says:

      Unfortunately, the wording on the Change Plan screen (the one you’re referring to) is vague. If you instead click “Your Account & Help” and then click “See membership terms & details” you’re going to see a message that explicitly tells you your plan’s about to go up in price.

      I’ve confirmed that even very old customers who already had grandfathered pricing from previous rate hikes are now getting slapped with the new rates. They could have worded the “change plan” screen and the official announcement a bit better, IMHO.

  21. MSUHitman says:

    You should note in the article there is an additional surcharge if you want the disc access to include Blu-Rays. That’s the reason I canceled over a year ago because of the 2 rate increases for that within 3 months of one another.

    • frank64 says:

      The 2 rate increases to BR so close was because they started out offering it as a loss leader type thing to start off. They then needed to get the price in line with the extra cost. You need to look at the ending price to really make a decision about value. If you don’t think the extra $3 a month is worth it then so be it, but just comparing the free price(no extra charge) to the ending price is unfair. BRs cost more asking you to pay more for it is just common sense. OK, if it isn’t worth it, but blame the studios if you want to blame someone, not Netflix.

      • MSUHitman says:

        I’ll blame Netflix because they sent out an email saying the increase was going to be $1 and they’ll NEVER (in their words) do it again only to add another $1 to it 3 months later. I left and haven’t looked back.

  22. catskyfire says:

    I’m not surprised. Especially since Blockbuster is near death.

  23. grapedog says:

    Why am I paying more for my 2 DVD’s a month? How about they disable the streaming option from my account, stop HINTING STRONGLY that they want me to stream, and then lower my price. Raise the price for people who want to stream only or people who have disc’s out and stream. Those who just want DVD’s can enjoy our lowered prices without being bombarded by tons of junk about streaming, and get lower prices!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Because that would be backwards and counter to what the companies think is the “future” – streaming is the way things are going, whether you like it or not. It costs a lot of money for Netflix to send DVDs, not to mention replace broken or scratched ones. It costs a lot of money to employ people to check the discs for damage.

      • Firethorn says:

        From the number of damaged discs I’ve gotten, I figure they’d pushed that off on the customer. Either that or I just have a heavy handed mail carrier somewhere(they were being delivered to a PO box, btw).

        But I’ll agree that the whole mailing thing is expensive, and getting more so – every time the post office ups their rates, it costs netflix more. The studios are clamoring for more money as well.

        Us trading down is actually a good thing in that case – shows them that they’re already at the limit; increasing the price decreases profit.

        I heard that the Blue-ray access charge was for two reasons; 1 – the discs cost more, 2 – the scratch resistant coating made the discs much more likely to crack in the mail, increasing replacement costs. I know that about a third of the ones I got for a little while were cracked; never had that happen with regular DVDs.

        Streaming is the future, I’ll agree to that as well. I’m on the 1 disc a month plan – mostly because there’s still stuff that’s not streaming.

        Personally, I’d love their player a lot better if it kept the last 30 seconds played in the buffer for those ‘wait a second’ moments.

        • pecan 3.14159265 says:

          That’s weird, because any device I’ve streamed Netflix on does keep the 30 seconds after it finishes buffering. And in all my time with Netflix, I’ve only had one disc that had to be replaced. I guess I’m lucky.

        • grapedog says:

          I’ve been a Netflix customer now for like 7 years, and I think I’ve gotten 10 broken discs in that timespan. That’s not to say that my experience speaks for everyone, but I’ve greatly enjoyed the quality of service I’ve gotten, and that’s having lived in two different states. I don’t watch TV, and I don’t care to watch much of the episodic crap that is out there, and the vast majority of their movie collection is not instantly viewable. I used the streaming twice in the past 7 years(the 2nd time about 2 months ago) and I found it severly lacking.

          Give me an all DVD, no streaming option.

          • HogwartsProfessor says:

            A mail carrier that used to come to my work told me the vast majority of damage to discs comes from USPS idiots who try to shove them through the sorting machines. He said there were big bins they put the movies in and the Netflix people come and get them, that they don’t have to do anything at all. I don’t know how accurate that is, but it was interesting.

            I still get DVDs myself. They just don’t have everything I want on streaming yet.

    • Pax says:

      There [b]IS[/b] a Limited plan, for $5 … no streaming, only 1 DVD. Maybe that would suit you more?

  24. MSUHitman says:

    Is there any way to see what the streaming library is? Already been a member so can’t do a free trial again and I want to know what they have before I commit any money.

  25. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Well, phase 1 of my plan will be to downgrade to the 2 DVDs at a time plan. Phase 2 will be to get high-speed Internet (yes, I’m still on dial-up — don’t give me any sh*t) and switch to the $9.99 plan, or maybe even the 7.99 streaming only plan. Hell, with so much content out there now, phase 3 might be to elminated Netflix entirely.

  26. MonkeyMonk says:

    It really seems like Netflix is trying to curb their DVD-by-mail business with these price changes . . . or at least encourage customers to downgrade to less DVDs out at a time.

    I’ve been on the 3-out-at-a-time plan for nearly 7 years but I’ve been watching more and more streaming content lately. These changes will give me a nice incentive to downgrade to the 2-DVD plan and save $5 a month.

    • Mr. Pottersquash says:

      I take it you missed it last month when the CEO said they were a streaming company that rents DVDS on the side?

      • MonkeyMonk says:

        Not at all but this price-change finally cements that talk into a tangible price difference for consumers.

  27. ITDEFX says:

    unless there entire library goes Streaming and even HD for movies released in the last 2-3 years, then i am going to stick to 1 dvd at a time. I really wanted to catch up on BSG but to learn the mini series and even a few episodes are disc only kinda throws me off :(

    • drizzt380 says:

      I just looked through the whole series, and only the mini-series(which is part of the season 1 boxed set) and some of the specials(like razor or The Plan) are dvd only. And the mini-series is all one disc.

      So you order one disc. Watch the mini-series, then send it back and use instant watch.

    • bearda says:

      I’ve been doing the same thing with the West Wing. I have to admit I’m still a little turned off by the lack of closed captioning on the streaming videos, though. I’ve developed some work-related hearing loss over the years (air brakes can be noisy) and if the dishwasher or drier are running it can be a little hard to pick out some part of dialog. Closed captioning is a nice crutch sometimes, and I didn’t realize how much I had grown to rely on it until I started watching streaming Netflix without it.

  28. MrTreoZ says:

    Will drop to 1-DVD plan for now. Streaming would be great if the selection improved. They may say it’s growing, but not with selections that appeal to me. My family has about 30 movies in the Instant queue (I’d appreciate a way to organize the queue as well!) and a lot more non-streamables than that in the DVD queue. It seems many are pleased with the streaming library, but I don’t get it. Some old, some new, and why not full sets? For example, we did the Omen, Excorsist, and Alien series and each required us to get some DVD along the way. Why not stream parts 1 till done? Why have part 2 or 3 in different format? Not as convenient in my eyes. And why remove/expire instants? We were at season 2 of Lost and it disappeared from the Instant listings. Argh!

    I still find it a pretty good deal though there’s NO way I could cancel cable in my house with what’s offered by Netflix. We supplement with a couple Redbox movies throughout the month and we’re good.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It’s because of licensing. Sometimes there are agreements in place on the studio’s end that prevents it from lending to companies like Netflix for more than X amount of licenses, or certain episodes can’t be lent out at all. It’s not always a problem on Netflix’s end because the studios make deals amongst each other that sometimes circumvent streaming access.

      If you pay money to license season 1 of Lost for streaming, that money isn’t a free for all pass for the rest of the seasons, nor does it mean you get to stream it forever. Netflix has to pay studios for access.

  29. XxSuntoucherxX says:

    I’ve been on the 1 disc plan since inception, (of the service, not the movie) and when I was able to stream over the Xbox I had to keep the 1 disc plan because at the time nothing on my disc only plan was streaming. Here we are over a year later, and my disc que is easily 3x longer than my streaming que with no crossover. While I would love to have to stop keeping track of the red envelope from month to month, (I admit I’ve sat on some discs for months on end.) I can’t because streaming isn’t quite there save for some random oldies or the independents I don’t want to see and family/kids movies. Simply put, until my streaming que gets 3x longer than my disc que, I’m stuck with the red envelope.

  30. C. Ogle says:

    Looking at my queue, I have 221 DVD’s listed. Only 40 of those are available for viewing instantly. Most of those 40 are way down at the bottom of my list, and none are new releases or current TV shows. I don’t see how they expect this to be a viable business model for anybody in it’s current form, most people will decide it’s worthless after watching anything good after the first month.

  31. Derigiberble says:

    I am really confused. I’ve been signed up for streaming only since October 25th, for $7.99 per month with a 31 day free trial. I’m in the US, not Canada. Did I luck out and get into some sort of test program?

  32. nybiker says:

    Hey, my 3-disc plan is currently at 15.99, so the jack-up to 19.99 which is listed only when you review your account details is actually a 20% increase. Ouch.

  33. seamer says:

    I rarely use the DVD service, but I do use the streaming service for hours each day. I’d have to have a greater variety in streaming to really drop the DVD part. All the cool stuff seems to be DVD only. Grar.

  34. Zerkaboid says:

    It’s great to see that they are offering a streaming only plan. I am tempted to downgrade from my current 1-disc plan, but there are some things that you just need to see on blu-ray. And anything that comes through Starz Play looks like ass.

    My wife and I tried to watch “Alice in Wonderland” last weekend and the quality was terrible whenever there was any motion, and the video cut out a few times, we gave up after 20 minutes and moved the blu-ray to the top of our queue. I thought maybe our connection was bad, but we then decided to turn on “Aliens” and it came through perfectly, quickly jumping up to “X-High HD” and stayed that way for the duration, with not a single dropped connection.

    Has anyone else noticed that Starz Play seems to be the worst on Netflix as far as quality? It’s a real shame because the selection is pretty decent.

    • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

      Yes, Starz Play usually does look (and sound) really horrible. I’m not sure why that is, but I have noticed it since they introduced it. And a lot of their online catalog seems to be offered through Starz.

      It really is a shame.

    • NeverLetMeDown says:

      Netflix doesn’t have rights to HD Starz Play content. At least not the first-run stuff.

  35. brit2380 says:

    Did netlfix give any reason to raise the rates? is it because the USPS is doing so poorly that they’ve asking netflix to up their postage?

  36. JulesNoctambule says:

    I’d like a disc-only, no streaming plan; we never, ever use that feature and I don’t want to pay extra for something I’ll never use.

  37. TheGreySpectre says:

    That sucks, I like getting physical disks. Streaming just doesn’t have the same quality, especially for sound.

  38. ellemdee says:

    I sent in a tip on the 13th about these plans (& pricing) being offered to new customers, but it looks like it’s being rolled out to existing customers now as well. For those of you who have had Netflix for a while, do you find that you still exchange discs often enough to make it worth the price difference, or do they end up sitting for weeks until you get around to watching them? Several titles I’ve searched for have been disk-only, but I’m wondering if I’d really miss the disc option if I go streaming-only.

    • nybiker says:

      The joys of unemployment is that I can watch a movie during the day (you know, during a break from the job-searching routine) and get it back in the mail for pickup the next day. So for me, the 3-disc plan has certainly been worth it for the 4 years I have had it (I haven’t always been unemployed). I dropped off 2 movies for pickup this morning, so NF will get them tomorrow and I’ll get 2 more on Wednesday. You do that twice a week and you’re good.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      We have had a disc sitting around for about three weeks now. I’ll watch it, I swear! We get enough discs to qualify the few extra dollars, but I also compare it to the availability we would have without the discs. Blockbuster is done for, and RedBox doesn’t carry movies that are older than a year or two. If we want to watch something from 2008, and it’s not on streaming, what are our options? it’s cheaper to keep paying Netflix $2 extra a month (1 disc vs. streaming only) than to rent a movie for $2 each on iTunes or something (if it’s available. And even then, we have no ability to stream to a TV).

    • HogwartsProfessor says:

      It depends on how busy I am; sometimes I get it watched right away, and sometimes I don’t. I prefer to watch it as soon as possible but I’ve let them sit for up to a month before. That’s one reason I love Netflix. No late fees!

  39. stanner says:

    Hmmm, in looking at my (3 DVD) account, it looks like we’re grandfathered in at the lower rate, at least for now.

  40. progrocktv says:

    Well since I don’t use streaming AT ALL, and an getting a price increase BECAUSE if it, staying on my 5-disc plan is not in the cards.

  41. Southern says:

    I will definitely be switching, as I only signed up for the streaming portion. I’ve been on the “1 DVD plan” for ages, and I can’t remember having ever had a DVD shipped to me..

  42. psm321 says:

    Too bad. There go my plans of trying out Netflix (I like physical DVDs, hate that they’re pushing away from that)

  43. IDMike08@gmail.com says:

    We have Netflix and love it – even at the new prices. However, I do wish they would correct their account info page to include how many streams you can run concurrently. You have to be on the 3 DVD plan to have more than two streams at the same time. They’re “unlimited” streaming is not exactly complete information.

  44. quail says:

    I still don’t get who the people are who need more than 1 disc at a time. There’s so much to stream that everyone in a household should be happy while they wait the 2 to 3 days for the next movie in the que to arrive.

    8 DVDs? Who needs that many in one shot?

    • Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

      Not everyone (myself included) streams content. As I mentioned before, I don’t even have high-speed Internet yet. Why? Something about paying $45 to $60 a month for broadband just doesn’t seem worth it to me.

      I only pay like $7 or so per month for dial-up and it gets me by. Hard to believe, but it does. For now…

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Large families, I think. Between parents and two kids (especially if one kid is a teen), and maybe a grandparent in the household, tastes vary so much that a family of four or five could easily fill a 8-at-a-time plan.

  45. chemmy says:

    Methinks more people will be switching to BitTorrent’s unlimited plan now….

  46. Warren - aka The Piddler on the Roof says:

    Just downgraded my account to 2 at a time from 3 at a time. Saved myself $2 a month over what it was before the price hike and $5 a month over what it is now with the price hike.

    I can still watch 3 DVDs a week (watch one Wednesday night, return on Thursday, get a new one on Saturday). That is, unless the USPS makes good on their threat to stop delivering on Saturdays. ;-(

  47. GameHen says:

    The vast majority of what we watch is streaming but we still like the 1-disc plan for new releases and some tv series that aren’t on streaming.

    On another note…they have an 8 disc plan?!!!? Who the heck has enough time, or interest, to watch that much! Holy crap!

  48. the_Jenkins says:

    We use a friends Netflix account now and I would never pay for streaming only (or Netflix for that matter). The available selection of streaming content is lacking in an extraordinary way. Perhaps if they made all DVDs available to streaming, we’d give them our hard earned cash, but not until then.

  49. Willy_HSV says:

    So, if they are raising the prices, are they going to eliminate the new-release penalty for high renters?

  50. Jason Eggert says:

    Going down to 1 disc at a time

  51. UltimateOutsider says:

    Fewer than 1/3 of the titles in my queue are available for streaming, so streaming-only is simply not an option for me. I agree with others who feel that the wording of both the official announcement and the Netflix account settings page seem to imply that people who keep their existing plans will get grandfathered pricing (they have done this before, by the way). I’m holding onto my 4-disc plan until I hear otherwise. Will cut down to three discs (or maybe even 2) if the existing prices are indeed going up.

    • UltimateOutsider says:

      And I just confirmed that existing prices are NOT being grandfathered.

      You can confirm this for yourself by going to the Netflix site, then clicking “Your account & Help” and then click “See membership terms & details.” There should be a message notifying you of the price bump at the top of the screen.

      I have not received any emails from Netflix about the rate hike yet, but the site definitely tells me the price is going up. Do they assume ALL of their customers obsessively follow the Netflix Blog?

      • stanner says:

        Interesting. I see no such message.

        However, under “Change Plans” they do tell me:

        “You are currently on the 3 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited) for $16.99 plan which is no longer offered. If you select a new plan, you will no longer be able to return to this plan.”

  52. quirkyrachel says:

    Two problems with Netflix streaming only:
    1) I’ve happily ploughed through a tv series online through Netflix streaming, only to find that some episodes are only available on disc.
    2)The hearing impaired have difficult with streaming because there are no captions.

  53. ckspores says:

    I have had the same 3 DVDs for months now. Even though I would love for their to be more on streaming I obviously find enough to watch in order to completely ignore my DVDs.

    I think I’ll be switching to streaming only. If at one point I decided I’m going to start watching DVDs again I’d probably go to one-at-a-time.

  54. Draw2much says:

    Ah, I’m glad you posted this. I was wondering why the price had gone up and why I was being forced to re-agree with their terms and services. Ah well!

    I’ll still pay for my 3 DVDs, even though it makes me said I’m basically paying $20 now. Boo. :(

  55. HotAirConsumer says:

    So when does the “DEAF” discount kick in? I am deaf so I must have captions/subtitles for any video I watch. I recall they started captions but only the LOST series and it was computer watching only. I love Netflix but hate the streaming. I cancelled my account a while ago and waiting for them to get their captions in order for all their streaming and then I will go back. I am sure I am not alone.

  56. Bladerunner says:

    Anybody know if they’re going to do multiple streaming options? Little known fact: with each “DVD” you can take out at a time, you can also have one more device hooked up simultaneously. For example, my GF and I use my account, so because I have the 3 disc plan (every once in a blue moon my brother uses it through his wii), she can stream on her Xbox while I’m at work streaming on mine. I wouldn’t mind going to streaming only, but I would want to be able to do multiple simultaneous…

  57. moonunitrappa says:

    I’m using 5 discs right now for a research project but before the month is up, I’ll be downgrading back to 1 disc. It’s a one dollar difference which isn’t enough to upset me. But I’m not exactly happy about the price raises. Their online selection is still not juicy enough to consider dropping the 1 disc out plan and streaming video only. They’re raising prices too soon imho. When streaming only looks just as appealing as one disc out, THEN prices should go up.

  58. Megladon says:

    This is old news, i’ve had this now for almost 2 months.

  59. Thyme for an edit button says:

    I’ll keep my 1-DVD at a time plan.

  60. VashTS says:

    Netflix is trying to max profits by trying to slowly eliminate physical media. Smart and disgusting. You would think all those deals….backdoor and front door deals that were made such as delaying new releases would be passed on to the consumers…. but this is America after all.

    I thought the Consumers made the marketplace but in reality the corporations can manipulate the weaker minded to their ways…I read all hundred posts above, so yeah…weaker minded.

  61. Rockfish says:

    Oh great . . . Netflix does the famous money-grab-for-no-reason price increase just like Comcast does twice a year now.

    I’ll be lowering my subscription plan to get my $1.00 back Netflix.

  62. bifyu says:

    *sigh* I’d be on board w/ streaming if:

    1) the selection was better. most of the stuff in my queue is not available via streaming.

    - 88 of 493 titles in my dvd queue are streamable
    – 6 of 165 titles in my instant queue will expire in 2 weeks
    – 68 of 165 titles in my instant queue are no longer streamable

    2) streaming wasn’t such a crap shoot in general when it is purportedly available.
    – foreign language films often have subtitles that are cropped
    – buffering problems where the movie refuses to start or rebuffers too often.

    (*streaming to a tivo s3 over a 3 Mbps dsl line)

  63. Copper says:

    I just switched to streaming only. Thank you, Netflix. Now I just need to find the disc I have…

  64. mikec041 says:

    PAX they sent out an Email today says all current plan prices are going up as of 01/2011 so the “grandfather” theory isn’t true.

  65. mikec041 says:

    Does anyone else have issues with Netflix streaming? Mine constantly buffers or out right freezes until i restart the show. Netflix blames Sony and/or the phone company’s DSL and they blame Netflix.

  66. nybiker says:

    Earlier in the day people (well, me at least) were wondering how come we had to hear about the jack-up of the prices via consumerist or other news outlets and not by Netflix directly. Well, it’s 6:44PM here in NYC and I just received the email from NF. It has a time-stamp of 6:40pm and a subject line of “Important Netflix Account Information: Price Change and New Plan Available”. It confirms my plan is going up 20% (well they don’t do the math, I do my own math at home) starting with the Jan 2011 bill. As I mentioned in a previous post, my plan is currently 15.99 and it’s going to be 19.99 as of next year.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      when i saw this article i checked the netflix blog and there it was. still no email for me though. then again, i also didn’t get the last ‘we screwed up your streaming, here’s a credit email’ even though the normal ‘we got your disc and mailed the next one’ emails are coming through fine.

  67. catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

    i thought about downgrading to the one at a time plan from the two at a time plan but the rules say the number of devices that can be used for simultaneous viewing is related to the number of disks you can have out. since it often happens that my household is streaming a computer and the roku at the same time, it looks like i’ll be paying $1 more next year.

  68. baquwards says:

    My question is. How many devices can stream from the $7.99 streaming only plan? We are on the 3 at a time and can stream simultaneously on up to 3 devices. We currently have 3 devices and soon will have 4. We need to be able to stream at minimum 2 devices at a time, since we will be dumping cable soon.

    My guess is that it will be one device at a time. I cannot seem to find anything on the website about this.

    • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

      someone on the netflix blog called customer service and reports that they got this answer
      https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?postID=5957161207302652967&blogID=2765056849626104020&isPopup=false&page=2

      “Anonymous Anonymous said…

      Customer service told me with the “Streaming only” service you can stream a total of 4 devices at one time. With the older traditional packages you will continue to only be able to stream the same number of devices as DvD’s you can have out at one time. Just like in the past.

      November 22, 2010 1:01 PM”

    • IDMike08@gmail.com says:

      We started out at 1 DVD & Streaming. We could authorize 5 devices and stream 2 things concurrently. We recently upped it to 3 DVD’s & Streaming. We still have 5 devices but can stream 3 things at the same time.

  69. alulim says:

    With my current 1 dvd plan a disc sits on average two to three days before i find the time to watch it. If I’m going to be charged more unilaterally, i guess i’ll just copy the disc to my hd, watch it at my leisure, and get a new dvd sooner. Let’s call it a service maintenance action…

  70. Not Given says:

    Does the 4.99 limited plan include streaming?

    • halfawakedad says:

      Yes, the $4.99 plan includes 2 hours of streaming a month. (Not enough for us, but if that’s all you need…)

  71. Justsaying says:

    What about us who can’t get high speed internet due to their location? I have to depend on satellite which isn’t very fast and with downloading and uploading limits? Now we have to pay more for something we can’t use.

  72. halfawakedad says:

    Switched! NOW I can afford to rent one Redbox DVD with the money I’m saving with Streaming Only!

  73. Red Cat Linux says:

    But… because of Netflix’ busted ideas about TV series, they will not stream every disc in a TV program. They randomly withhold one episode for reasons not immediately clear to someone who just wants to watch the damn show.

    If you want the missing epi, you have to rent the disc. WTF?

  74. NotEd says:

    Like the idea of all streaming accounts. Cannot fathom raising prices on plans with Discs.
    We still have a plan with physical discs for things like HBO shows or episodes of the West Wing, which we have just started watchings. I know the price increase is only a buck, but it seems silly when they are aleviated their own overhead for physically mailing product by offering streaming only. .

  75. DanGarion says:

    And yet they continue to charge a Blue-Ray upgrade fee…