If you are a current Netflix customer, beginning September 1, in order to continue both unlimited streaming and unlimited DVD’s, your price is going to increase significantly. However, if you find yourself not watching many DVDs anymore, or if that Netflix DVD has been sitting on top of your TV for weeks, changing to a streaming only plan will save you money. At our house, we currently get one DVD at a time and unlimited streaming for $9.99/month. If we don’t change plans, our rates will increase to $15.98/month in September.
What is Netflix up to? Netflix is separating their DVD plans from the streaming plans. I remember when Netflix first added streaming to their DVD plans (we’ve been a customer since early 2003). It felt like we were paying for the DVDs and the streaming was FREE .. and it WAS like that. They added streaming at no additional cost.
Netflix is preparing for significant cost increases. Their streaming content licensing costs are expected to increase from an estimated $180 million in 2010 to nearly $2 billion in 2012. So now they must increase their revenue, and treating DVD and streaming plans separately is how they’re planning to do it.
I looked at our recent DVD rental activity, and so far we’ve only watched 3 DVDs from Netflix in 2011. That’s 3 DVDs in over 6 months! In 2010 we watched only 20 DVDs. So, we’re planning to switch from our $9.99 old plan to the new $7.99 streaming only plan. If your viewing habits are the opposite of ours and you only need DVDs and do not ever stream content, you can also go to a $7.99 plan that includes 1 DVD at a time, or $11.99/month for 2 DVDs at a time (both without streaming privileges).
Other DVD AND streaming plans are 2 DVDs at a time for $19.98/month, 3 DVDs at a time for $23.98, and 4 at a time for $29.98. One little known plan is a 1 DVD at a time, but with only 2 DVDs allowed per month for $4.99. So if you rarely get DVDs, but still want the ability to, 2 DVDs per month and unlimited streaming would set you back a total of $12.98/month.
So, what will it be? Will you adjust your plan? Stick with the same plan and suck up the extra charge? Leave Netflix all together and run to Hulu Plus and Redbox? We’d love to hear your comments!