If you haven’t heard yet, Netflix has lifted its prices by 60% or so. In a blog post, Netflix has announced new plans and price changes. From now on, users will have to pay $7.99 and $11.99 for 1 and 2 DVDs out at-a-time plan (complete list on the full post). The streaming feature will be billed separately from the mail-in DVD feature:
Plan 1: Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $7.99 a month
Plan 2: Unlimited DVDs, 1 out at-a-time (no streaming), for $7.99 a month (Blu-Ray is $2 more).
This means that if you want to get unlimited streaming and one DVD out at-a-time, it will cost about $16 per month.
While this may not bother heavy Netflix users, those who just rented one or two DVDs a month while enjoying the unlimited streaming may get upset by this substantial price increase. As of now, there are more than 5000 comments on this topic on Netflix’s blog, most of which are negative.
On the other hand, Netflix stock price has continued to climb as investors are betting that the unhappy customers will not topple the company’s business model. And they may be right. Although Netflix new pricing may be unwelcomed, there are not a whole lot of alternatives. Blockbuster could be an alternative, but it does not have the unlimited streaming feature. Hulu does have free streaming, but not with the same selection than Netflix.
In the end, each customer may have to weigh the pro and cons. For instance, I watch a couple of disc-based movies and a bunch of random documentaries via streaming. My alternative is to use an on-demand system like Vudu to replace the discs and keep Netflix for the streaming stuff. I could also try to replace Netflix streaming by searching for the same shows online, but I’m sure that it won’t be easy.
What’s your take? Are you angry about this price increase or do you feel that Netflix is still your best option? What alternatives do you think you have?