Netflix hasn't hinted at any upcoming plans to change the services it offers, but NewTeeVee spotted an unadvertised DVD-only plan on its site, and an anonymous tipster indicates that's just the start. The DVD.Netflix.com page offers unlimited DVDs by mail, per month (one at a time) for $7.99, which slots it between the standard DVD & streaming combo plans and a $4.99 offering that gives just two DVDs per month.
According to our source Netflix is planning to change its pricing entirely by implementing a streaming only plan with no discs for $7.99 and changing the minimum pricetag for combined services to $15.98 -- up from the current $9.99 it has charged since November. They indicated the change would take place tomorrow night around 9 p.m., with customers notified by email and no plans to grandfather any of the old pricing setups along. With aggressive expansion plans and its costs to acquire content rising sharply, hiking the price by 50 percent on many of its 20 million+ subscribers could be the easiest way to make the numbers add up. Now, subscribers are left to determine exactly what Watch Instantly streaming (or DVD access) is worth to them.
Update: Just that fast, Netflix has officially announced these changes to its pricing plans. Just like our information indicated, DVD only or streaming only unlimited plans are available for $7.99 each per month, or $15.98 together. Existing members can float on their current plans until September 1st but new members will see these rates effective immediately.
According to a post on the official blog, the change replaces the DVD plan's existence as a $2 surcharge over streaming and from now on it will no longer unlimited discs and streaming as a single package. Two discs at a time will cost $11.99 by themselves now, but there's no mention of higher plans just yet. Fans of the plastic platter should be at least a bit encouraged however, as there's a new team devoted solely to that service -- here's hoping they can get the stagnant Blu-ray catalog refreshed.
Show full PR text
New Unlimited DVD-Only Plan at $7.99 is the Lowest-Ever Price Offered; Unlimited Streaming Remains $7.99
LOS GATOS, Calif., July 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) announced today it is launching new unlimited DVD-only plans in the U.S. at their lowest price ever– only $7.99 a month for the 1 DVD out at-a-time plan and $11.99 a month for the 2 DVDs out at-a-time plan.
New members can sign up for these plans by going to DVD.netflix.com.
Netflix also announced it is separating its unlimited streaming and unlimited DVD plans in the U.S. to better reflect the costs of each and to give members a choice: a streaming-only plan, a DVD-only plan or the option to subscribe to both.
With this change, Netflix will no longer be offering unlimited plans that include both streaming and DVDs by mail. The unlimited streaming plan will remain at $7.99 a month. The price for getting both unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs will be $15.98 a month ($7.99 + $7.99).
For new Netflix members, the changes will be effective immediately. For existing members, the new pricing will start for charges on or after September 1.
"Netflix members love watching instantly, but we've come to recognize there is still a very large continuing demand for DVDs by mail," said Andy Rendich, Netflix Chief Service and Operations Officer. "By better reflecting the underlying costs and offering our lowest prices ever for unlimited DVD, we hope to provide a great value to our current and future DVD-by-mail members."
Netflix introduced streaming to its popular DVD-by-mail business in 2007. Since then, membership has climbed from 6 million to 23 million in the U.S. as people have embraced the idea of watching instantly an ever-expanding library of movies and TV shows on the hundreds of consumer electronics devices capable of streaming movies and TV shows from Netflix right to members' TVs.
With nearly 24 million members in the United States and Canada, Netflix, Inc. [Nasdaq: NFLX] is the world's leading Internet subscription service for enjoying movies and TV shows. For US$7.99 a month, Netflix members in the U.S. and Canada instantly watch unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed over the Internet to PCs, Macs and TVs. Among the large and expanding base of devices streaming from Netflix are Microsoft's Xbox 360, Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PS3 consoles; an array of Blu-ray disc players, Internet-connected TVs, home theater systems, digital video recorders and Internet video players; Apple's iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, as well as Apple TV and Google TV. In all, more than 200 devices that stream from Netflix are available in the U.S. and a growing number are available in Canada.
SOURCE Netflix Inc.