Netflix Streaming-Only Plan Arrives with Price Hike
The long wait for a streaming-only Netflix subscription plan is finally over. Today Netflix unveiled its new $7.99 subscription plan that comes with no DVDs but all the streaming video you could want. Meanwhile, the other plans that include DVDs saw a price hike of between $1 and $8.
"We are now primarily a streaming video company delivering a wide selection of TV shows and films over the Internet. Today's action reflects the tremendous customer value we've injected into streaming from Netflix, our initial success with a pure streaming service in Canada for $7.99 a month and what our U.S. members tell us they want," Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.
The price hikes aren't too dismal. Netflix's two most popular plans -- one DVD at a time and two DVDs at a time -- were only upped by $1 each, with other plans seeing increases as high as $8. Netflix (kind of) explained the hike: "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 company also addressed the burning question you never had: why isn't there a DVD-only plan? Netflix states the obvious: nobody wants just DVDs anymore. Streaming video is where it's at.
Netflix's $7.99 streaming-only plan is on par with Hulu Plus's new subscription price, which was just reduced from $9.99. Though Hulu Plus's price reduction was a smooth move, it only offers 200 seasons (or 2400 episodes) of TV shows, whereas Netflix has more than 20,000 available movies and TV shows. Netflix's deep pockets are responsible for its massive content licensing; according to AllThingsD, Netflix may have spent as much as $2 billion this year to acquire its programming.
So, will Netflix's streaming-only plan drive nails into coffins, or will its customers stay loyal to physical DVDs as well as streaming video?