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.