Netflix Unveils 60% Price Hike, Adds Blu-ray/DVD-only Plan
Posted July 12, 2011 02:34 PM by Webmaster
It appears that Netflix will be less attractive for people who want to rent discs and stream videos. In a somewhat surprising move earlier today, the company eliminated its $9.99 per month fee for unlimited streaming and unlimited DVD rentals. Customers will now have to pay $15.98 for a single DVD out at a time, which is approximately 60% more for the same type of service. According to Netflix, the new plan reflects $7.99 for unlimited streaming and 7.99% for DVD usage.
Customers who wish to have two DVDs out at a time plus unlimited streaming will have to pay $19.98 per month.
Following chief content officer Ted Sarandos' recent statement that the company will turn its focus back to physical distribution, Netflix has also introduced a new $7.99 per month plan, which allows its customers to have one DVD out a time on an unlimited basis.
Customers who wish to add Blu-rays in the new plan would have to pay $9.99 per month. This option excludes internet streaming.
Sad, I just signed up a month ago I guess when the prices change I will have to cancel, ehh it least a month of free dvd/blu-ray + streaming at one at time was fun for a month. PLUS! They do not have enough Blu-rays even to bother with and their selection of streaming movies are terrible not even a great quality of HD and their Lossless LPCM 2.0 streaming quality is terrible. You would think they would want customers to stay even new ones I guess they just care about their wallets now and yes I do blame RIAA, MPAA and FCC for this Bullshit since the movie industry wants more money it isn't bad enough Blu-rays still cost $20 and up still to purchase and cable is not getting any cheaper. Oh yeah let us not forget about ISPs wanting to Bandwidth cap also now.
This is extremely disappointing. My plan just increased by $5, and they had recently hiked their prices not too long ago. I've had their service for over three years now, but I'm rethinking it now.
I'm going to have to frequent my local video store or use Rebox and Zediva. And the worse thing is that their service has gone down in quality--terrible interface on their website, no good apps for phones, and that Sony contract debacle eliminated some good movies. I'm really considering canceling come September.
I have noticed it takes a while to get some of the the newer releases. It usually says "long wait" for too long of a time. I recently switched to just streaming for $7.99 a month. I don't even bother with the discs anymore.
The article can be a little unclear because it's talking about DVDs. The plan I'm on: 1 Blu-Ray out at a time + Streaming will go from 11.99 to 17.98. Wow. This is quite a strategy. Are that many people actually going to keep their service for this to be a winning formula?
You never should have switched to being a streaming company Netflix. I streamed maybe 8 shows total in my history with Netflix. The HD quality is pretty shitty so I only did standard def documentaries. If I want streaming it looks like I'll be trying out Hulu+.
To be fair, Netflix still carries and stocks Blu-rays. When I called asking why my extra Blu-ray surcharge isn't being used to buy Criterions I was told it's because Criterion won't provide them. In other words, Criterion won't play the lowball Walmart game.
With each move Netflix is reminding more and more of Blockbuster in the old days--sacrificing quality for quantity and acting like they're a monopoly (which they are).
I agree that the BluRay selection is not good. The new plan pricing sort of takes away from the variety of any plan. Anyway, just switched to streaming only which I will regret if the picture quality is as poor as the one I watched. This saps the value of Netflix away.
If you look at your Netflix account info, there is a notice describing changes in your current fee. My fee is going up by a total of $4, which is a 15% increase...not quite as alarming as the 60% change which this article highlights. I will still be paying $4/month to add blu-ray, that is not going up to $9.99 for my plan.
(I have 3 at a time, unlimited streaming, blu-ray)
netflix got bad about adding catalog titles on blu-ray a little over a year ago. i was initially going through the criterion blu discs when they stopped stocking their new titles around spring 2010. i could understand if demand just wasn't high enough to justify stocking copies of those, but popular titles like the alien movies or the back to the future series aren't available to rent on blu either. this price hike may just be the last straw for me...
what a fn joke ! man this company is getting dumber by the day. Streaming was always a joke, I mean hey we are americans, we like to own things....even geting most people to adopt an HTPC is a stretch because they cant hold an MKV like you can a BR or DVD. Im surprised TIVO or DVRs ever took off. Netflix was simply shooting in the dark. HOwever our country compared to other ISP connected countries of the world are on the slower end of internet speed, last time i check the EU , some as public utility was pumping 40 on the LOW ! You cant blame them for trying but they have simply failed. The medium looked horrible and the rates were getting too steep. I too am a Netflix sub. however I am terminating my sub. simply due to the lack of BR choices....a good example and the last straw for me was the SUPERMAN ANTHOLOGY!! still no word if Netflix is going to carry this BR set...I doubt it..
Personally, I think their streaming selection sucks -- and turing their focus back to physical distribution is no doubt pressure from the studios. I just don't understand how they can do this in the current economy. I will keep my 1-disc at a time and ditch the streaming and the Blu-ray option -- BDs have been few and far between lately because of their wait times.
I don't care at all about streaming. I only see it as a nice option to have if I feel like watching something and I don't happen to have a disc at the time. I could easily do without it. Not exactly sure how this plan is going to affect me yet, but, I know I don't really feel like paying more than 20$ a month for my two BDs out at a time. I already downsized from three at a time because of the last rate increase. If it ends up going over 20$ for two at a time I'll be seriously considering canceling my membership. And I most likely will.
Why doesn't Neflix create a Blu-ray only plan for $7.99 instead of forcing customers to pay more for a service many don't want? Many customers have no interest in watching/renting crappy standard definition DVDs.
I cancelled my Netflix plan months ago because the movie selection for their streaming service is horrible and most films are only offered in SD and their inability to meet the high demand for new release blu-rays often resulted in waiting a month or two until movies were available to rent.
according to the message on my account, the cost of my plan will go up $10. goodbye streaming. i dont want to cancel because im still on the 4 at a time plan for the price of 3. this is the first time ive had to alter my account in about 10 years. the streaming quality isnt even that good on my fast internet at work. maybe if some of the masters were better it would be clearer.
Surprised there aren't more people saying "LOL it's still a great deal OMG I can't believe ur complaining about Netflix what a great service", like there usually is whenever Netflix unveils its latest rate hike. I guess everyone has their breaking point. Keep pushing it, Netflix.
I rarely use the streaming; it was good for catching up on certain TV shows, but I agree that the selection in general sucks. That is also true of the blu-ray selection. And I had to wait three months for Tron: Legacy, which is just NOW being put into the mail from Netflix, when it was in my queue since March?
Time to switch to no-streaming, DVD only plan. I'm getting increasingly tired of paying extra for such a shitty selection. I actually still love the DVD service I get from them, so it will take more than this to make me quit Netflix, but I'll happily give up streaming to save dough, and I'll somewhat less happily give up the blu-ray option, because I can't justify the added expense. If I like a movie I rent, I'll buy it on blu anyway.
They're just getting greedy because they know that besides RedBox, they are the only alternative. I switched my plan to streaming only because I never get around to watching the DVDs and they sit there for a couple months.
They are really shooting themselves in the foot with this price hike and RedBox is now the best place to rent physical copies.
That's it for me with Netflix. The streaming doesn't offer any newer movies. And how does Netflix justify upping the price for DVD rentals. The postage has not gone up to justify the increase. Redbox here I come.
The good thing about this is hopefully some of the people like Dellamorte13 who sit on their discs for months at a time will switch to streaming only, and those of us stuck waiting for the discs they can't be bothered to watch will get them faster.
I have always have 3 disc plan, in Oct 2009, I was paying $13.99, Nov 2009 - Dec 2010 $20.99 (I might have added blu-ray here), Jan 2011 - Now $23.99, I haven't really keep track of how much I am paying until now. In Sept, if I keep the same plan I would have to pay $27.99 + tax. That's double of what I paid 2 years ago. I wish I got that much raise in the last 2 years...
Well, I cancelled streaming today so I actually save $4 per month. If it goes up again, I have no trouble cancelling, I have a blu-ray plan but there aren't many blu-rays in my queue, most of them are future releases. I can eaily rent all of them from redbox with 1 month of netflix subscription. And there are 4 redboxes, a blockbuster, and a library within a couple miles of where i live...
I got bored of them not carrying the catalog blu-rays I wanted to see so I knocked myself down to streaming only. It's decent enough for movies, and I'm happy with the selection of TV shows, including things not even on DVD! I'll never go back to disc after this though
I'll either go down to the one Blu at a time plan or cancel altogether. I use HuluPlus a lot more than Netflix anyway since they have current seasons of TV shows. I should probably just cancel for awhile and work on my backlog of purchased Blus.
RedBox sucks balls. They have a shitty selection. I can't believe people here are talking about replacing Netflix with the RedBox. Good luck finding anything other than Bollywood crap, B movies and the latest Adam Sandler garbage.
I switched from Netflix to Blockbuster's mail/streaming service several years ago. It's much cheaper and includes video game rentals as well as dvd and blu-ray. Much better deal and they usually have a pretty good selection.
mikek58, I was going to drop them when they raised even more for Blu-ray rentals, but didn't. However, I will be now. The price keeps going up and the quality of the service they offer keeps going down. I hope a lot of people will cancel their memberships. Blockbuster Online is better. At least they have new releases right away and you don't have to wait a month for them. Wish they'd have a plan where you could get more than three at a time. And streaming on Netflix sucks anyway. The quality is too poor.
There is a lot of misinformation going around about this. I just logged into Netflix and read about this.
Right now, I'm paying $25.55 for 3 dvds/blurays out at a time plus unlimited streaming.
Here is the message they have:
"The price of your Unlimited Streaming + 3 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited) plan will change to $27.98 (including $4.00 for Blu-ray)() (plus any applicable tax) a month starting with your next billing period on or after Sep 01, 2011. If you select a new plan in the meantime, you will only be able to return to your current plan at the new price, regardless of when you make the change."
So I'll be paying $2.50 more, that's just 10%. Which I'm fine with. Bunch of over reactionary people.
So let's see, I get about 3 blu rays a week in the mail, today I got:
Red Riding Hood
The Lincoln Lawyer
Battle: Los Angeles
So about 12 blurays a month + unlimited streaming** for like $28. Still a great deal to me, even with these increases.
@Thank You - Bandwidth cost money. Maybe 2 years ago everybody was getting a super great deal. To me it's still a great deal. Haven't stepped foot in a dvd rental place in years, how much is a rental going for these days? Factor in gas and time to go get the movies.
12 blus and unlimited streaming for $30? I'll take that deal all day long. Of course I actually use the streaming.
@get1080pnot720p - the only one out of those 3 that I heard sucks is the Red Riding Hood. Heard Lincoln Lawyer is real good, Battle Los Angeles, decent popcorn type flick.
We still have local video rental stores where I live so I guess no big deal for me. I am dropping my cable next month and was going to go Neflix streaming because it is so cheap maybe I will have to hold off.
I have been a Netflix subscriber for 6yrs now, but this will change. It was a great deal then, but once they became mainstream, they have slowly showed their true colors. I'm speaking with my wallet this time! If enough people cancel from this, it will show netflix who truly runs the company. Goodbye Netflix....hello alternative.
Since I don't stream movies... I ended up saving $3 bucks a month by switching to the 2 DVD's with Blu-ray unlimited plan (no streaming). Former cost per month... $17.99 (plus tax)... new cost per month... $14.99 (plus tax). Ends up working out good for me. But I do feel sorry for the streaming folks though... ouch!
This definitely sucks. I actually dropped to DVD/streaming only after the last price hike. I figure I usually buy the movies I really want so I want the best quality, but for a movie I'm just curious about seeing DVD is fine. It's also the nice thing about streaming. If the movie sucks, I can watch 20 minutes, turn it off and move on. With the DVD I have to send it back and wait on another title. Plus I have a tendency to sit on a DVD title for anywhere from a week to 3 or 4 sometimes before I watch a movie.
Their selections should definitely improve to justify this type of cost increase. I'm on the fence about keeping my subscription. I'll probably drop to streaming only so I can catch up on TV shows I've missed.
I really wish Amazon would make some major improvements in their streaming and offer blu ray rentals. I would totally jump on their offer of being an Amazon prime member if they had a selection that rivaled or surpassed Netflix. I already buy enough stuff from Amazon throughout the year to justify paying for the membership.
Oh well, we'll see what happens down the road. Looks like I may be going back to Hasting's to rent my movies.
This news is quite good to my ears. Raise the prices more so that we can have even more mass exits of subscriptions! The quality of their presentation is hindered by bandwidth. Nobody deserves to pay for crapstastically compressed video and audio tracks.
@The Blufather - But, you have to remember that most people don't have 250+ titles in their queue. For you, this is a good deal because you will almost always have something in your queue that they can mail to you. Most folks will have 10-20 titles in their queue which are all most popular at the time. Therefore, they WILL NOT be getting 12 Blu-rays a month. They will be lucky to get 2 or 3 of those every month due to the popularity and lack of availability.
So, that is the ultimate point that is being made.
Netflix (and streaming in general) is a poor man's choice anyway. Even though I don't really earn a lot myself, being in college, I'd still rather spend my money buying quality films and quality Blu-Rays, rather than waste my month away renting as many crappy movies as I can simply in order to fill my imaginary quotas.
Seem like Netflix wants to get out of the mail-in service, and who can blame them, streaming content is probably way more profitable -- here in Canada it's always been streaming only, at 8 bucks a month, and even with a lack of content compared to the US service, I find it good value. I actually cut back my cable service as I watch more Netflix. I find the quality very good, way better than SD cable and HD content is comparable to HD cable, but I only watch on a 34" display -- blu rays only on the home theatre.
Instant and on demand subscription based service is clearly the future but it'll be interesting to see how things play out with licencing costs and with internet providers wanting to charge per data usage – Netflix could become very expensive.
I'm joining in the chorus of those who will be dropping one (or both) plans come September 1. Netflix has ceased to care about consumers. If I had to drop one, it would be the streaming. Other than Weeds and Dexter, I never used it that much anyway. Picture quality is too important, and Blu-ray blasts "HD" streaming out of this world.
A lot of long-time subscribers will dump or the other (streaming or dvd) because of this. It's NOT that Netflix doesn't know that Blockbuster is on it's last leg and they will own the MONOPOLY of streaming/mail services.....not at all......right.
I'll probably drop the DVD/Blu-ray service for now (since there's no grandfather clause), until Blockbuster finally goes belly-up...I'll decide then what I'm going to do for DVD/Blu-ray. Maybe just rely on Redbox. Netflix, it's been nice, but....
Just cancelled my membership. I am one of the "original" customers dating waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyy back (10 years or more?). I can just buy a 2-3 (or more) blu rays a month for the new membership cost.
ok once again they r going up . I never get the movies i want because they r always a long delay. WTF. I just may cancel . Ive dropped netflix before and rejoined but I think I will just drop them for good and mayb keep the streaming. Insane raise prices and get worse service. THINK i will take my lazy ass to Redbox and call it a day.
O K netflix just lost me . I m only streaming until i find a better system for that. Off to Redbox which isn't far from me at all. Nearly 30 bucks to rent movies i can't get cause I have to wait for them . I was a idiot to stay as long as i did. Thanks for raising the price Netflix.
I am in agreement with those that have stated the blu-ray selection is crap. Even the DVD selection is crap. After taking six months off from Netflix, I rejoined with DVD-only to make it cheaper. I have gotten so many non-anamorphic DVDs from the late 90s and early 2000s that have since been reissued in better versions, even some Pan & Scan (that I sent right back without watching). I'd like to do Hulu for a while for their Criterion movies and then stick to one streaming service. I also need to cancel cable and just enjoy the movies I own.
My cost is actually going down from $11.99 to $9.99 for unlimited 1 at a time Blu-ray. I never streamed anything anyway due to the unreliability of the PQ. This sort of thing still sucks because I don't anticipate Blu-ray supplies improving.
All Netflix has cared about in the last few years is their stock price. Wall Street assholes just love it when a corporation milks its customers, so naturally the price went up today. Congratulations Netflix, mission accomplished.
wow this sucks. on their website it says that the changes wont be put into place until September 1st, so i'll take advantage of my current plan until then. After that I'll switch to streaming only for $8. Thanks for nothing Netflix
With the Starz! deal with Sony resulting in the movies being pulled from Netflix because of the cap being reached, I bet that got Netflix thinking on how they can shed people who don't use streaming so they can reduce the headcount and pay less for streaming. That is what I would do. These plans will really show who cares about physical and who cares about streaming and those who want both are gonna pay for it.
My plan, 3 DVD+Blu-ray+Streaming was $24 and will be $28, a 16% increase.
Regardless of the increase, what are you going to do? You can't get access to the library Netflix has at the local video store or at Redbox. You can get it at Blockbuster on-line, but their turn-around time sucks. There's not much you can do.
I did notice just this week that Neflix was suddenly getting older catalog titles on Blu-ray. Blockbuster has been doing this all along and is definitely way above Netflix when it comes to Blu-ray, but as mentioned, their turn-around time sucks. I have a 1-at-a-time plan with Blockbuster just to get all the Blu-rays Netflix won't stock. If Blockbuster goes out of business, Netflix will have a monopoly and can really do what they want.
This is certainly disapointing news - but I think I have a solution (for me, anyways).
I'm currently on the plan with 1 DVD at a time (with Blu-Ray) which includes unlimited streaming for $12 a month. This will increase to $18 a month. A 50% increase!
I'd like to keep both streaming and DVD's by mail - I don't use either one all that much but I do use them. Under the new plan options, Netflix will offer unlimited streaming only for $8/month as well as a plan for 1 DVD at a time by mail (with Blu Ray option) with no streaming for $10/month.
So...what I think I might do is alternate between the two plans. One month I'll do streaming only for 8 bucks and the next month I'll switch to DVD's by mail and catch up on what I missed out on the previous month. That's an average of $9/month which is less than the $12 I'm paying now.
First, Blockbuster and pretty much all the major studios make a deal to delay the rental window for every othe rental outlet. This wouldn't be so bad, if the Blockbuster closest me didn't close about 3 months ago.
This deal with the studios, who saw dollar signs but didn't bother to think of the long-term impact of their decision, ostensibly lowered the value of all disc rental services other than Blockbuster, but with Netflix, we only saw price increases with no increase in quality (i.e. the severe lack of catalog titles on Blu).
Now Netflix wants to charge even more for the same service? Okay, I'm in for this, but if and only if:
1) the studios revoke their 30-day "rental window"
2) more Blu catalog titles become available on Netflix, day-and-date.
Are either of these likely to happen? Take a wild guess...
well originally I had 3 dvd's out at one time a few months ago. then they jacked the price up a few dollars. went to 2 discs out and blu ray access. So my $17.99 plan goes to $22.98 or something like that. Nope. So switched back to 3 disks now I'm at $19.99, dropped the useless streaming. Which is still a good 5-10 years away at the least. Blu Rays are quickly replacing dvd's... Maybe Netflix figured that out. Another site where I heard this, they are either canceling in droves, dropping stream or canceling and switching to Amazon Prime where there's a better selection. Don't think Netflix Stream will be around much longer if that keeps up.
umich08.. don't know about Sept 1. For me it's the next pay period it goes up. Which is in about a week. And some of the deaf may sue because there isn't much subtitles on stream. (thats reaching but I understand that)
Well, this has just convinced me to cancel my Blu-ray service with Netflix come this September. I barely used it to begin with and I end up buying the films I rent from them eventually whenever blu-ray.com posts new deals. And as everyone else mentioned, their selection was quite limited. I'll just keep the streaming service which I do love because I can watch something if I ever get bored. And I'll be saving some moolah. However, I'll be zipping more swiftly thru blu-rays 'til September on my $12 plan.
At last the other shoe has dropped. Everyone should have seen this coming, it's not a big surprise. The movie industry is jacking their licensing fees so the cost plus is being passed along. I have never been a fan of streaming video and it was never anything more than a bonus for me, so I won't miss it come Sept 1. I dropped the Blu addition long time ago. Let's face it, the rental business is just a crap market for consumers right now. Say what you want about Blockbuster, but their Bankruptcy has really reduced competition in the marketplace and thus less choice for consumers and higher prices. Make no mistake, Netflix does not give a crap about any of it's customers, it is exists to make the Shareholders happy, and judging by the pre-market trading, shareholders are having a very giddy morning indeed. Let's see how happy they are, when customers drop and reduce plans and Netflix's overhead skyrockets by focusing on physical medial again.
that is a good idea that would solve quite a few issues....$7.99 BR Sub. HOWEVER if they ever decided to such a thing they would need to finally DIVE DEEP into thier BR inventory...have have NOT NEARLY enough titles to pull this off right now.
For me, there's good and bad with each company to rent blu's.
Netflix: Good- Recieve discs next business day. Bad- 28 day delay, then long wait times for new releases. Takes them a long time to get the older catalog movies. They still don't have the Back to the Future and Alien trilogies from last Oct.
Blockbuster: Good- Get new releases before Netflix and Redbox. Bad- Shipping times are really long for discs.
Redbox: Good- Only $1.50 to rent an occational blu-ray. (I usually just watch 1/week.) Bad-28 day delay, selection.
Wow...this is just terrible. It makes me that much closer to cancelling my account. I don't use the streaming that often, I just soft of used it as an add on bonus for my 1 out at a time plan. So now it's going to be over $18 a month for my plan for 1 out at a time?! That's garbage. And the $2 extra a month for blu-ray access is extra special garbage! If they are going to charge that, they need to make sure when a movie is released on blu-ray that it needs to be added to their stock! Plus with so many DVD's costing almost as much as a blu-ray now, there is no reason for this additional charge.
I switched to Streaming Only since Netflix just doesn't have a vast selection of Blu Rays. I kept finding myself not being able to get any of the new releases on BD so will just continue to go to my local rental store to pickup a movie I really want to see. Blockbuster closed it store in my neighborhood and kiosks are popping up everywhere but still unsure about using them.
Although I'm not in favor of price increases, the title and content of this article is sensationalist.
My monthly bill won't increase by 60%. It will increase by 1/6th, or decrease by 1/6th, depending on whether or not I want streaming. I'm at $24 a month now, if I drop streaming I go down to $20 and if I keep streaming I go up to $28 a month. Because I rarely stream I'm thinking of dropping streaming--this will actually save me money.
Report it like it is. All they're doing is pulling streaming out as a separate option, increasing the cost of streaming, and not cutting customers a discount to add streaming to their plan.
I dropped them a while ago when it became clear they were not in the disc business. I'm not about streaming, I like getting discs and Blu ray was getting impossible to get. They are trying to smoke out any interest in discs and want people to choose streaming. Awful, just awful. Must be owned and operated by Republicans.
While the changes are scheduled to go in effect September 1 you can opt for a new plan sooner. Since I'm 1-at-a-time Blu-ray and never stream anything, my price is going from $11.99 to $9.99. I changed my plan effective today.
I think that Netflix is going way overboard with their price hike. Their quality of selection for streaming is terrible but like you say If they raise their prices on internet streaming then I will as well cancel my subscription with them. But for right now I will stay with them until September 1, 2011.
Blockbuster has a much wider selection of Blu Ray titles, and new releases are available instantly. I'm switching over. Only downside is the slow delivery and the fact that BB's streaming does not work on any MAC.
Well once again, I'm going to cancel Netflix. They have some nerve. I will stick with pay as I stream on Vudu. The quality is way better anyway. The other great thing is that whenever I buy certain Blus at Walmart they have a Vudu credit of 5.00 w/ the movie. That's a great deal. I have 15.00 in Vudu credit on my account right now.
Netflix finally made it into "we're so big we can do whatever we want" territory.
I currently have the 1 DVD at a time plus unlimited streaming plan, so my cost would go from $9.99 to $15.98 if I kept both (which I won't). I never added the Blu-ray option because I thought it was stupid to have to pay extra. (After reading about their lousy selection, I'm glad I didn't.) We don't have cable, so my daughter uses streaming to watch cartoons and my wife uses it to watch bad movies. It's fine for a lazy afternoon when you don't really care what you're watching. We'll keep the streaming option, but there's no way I'm paying another $6 to keep the DVD option. I'd rather use Blockbuster, Redbox or a local mom & pop store (yes, we still have some of those where I live) if I want to rent a DVD or Blu-ray. I know I'll probably end up paying more in the long run, but I want to send a message to Netflix that a $6 per month increase is too much. I can sympathize with the fact that NetFlix's licensing costs are going up, but not enough to justify the price jump.
This is actually good news for me. I have the 3 blu-rays out at a time and the streaming service. I'm too busy really for any of it (have had "The Fighter" sitting on my TV stand since June 1st)....so I was going to cut back # of discs out at a time to 1 or 2. I never use the streaming because the quality is questionable and I don't have time anyways, so this makes an easy decision for me....can stick with 3 out at a time without streaming and my cost actually goes down....
Here's another way of looking at it: people who got DVDs/Blu-rays only were paying for streaming that they didn't do. Take two subscribers that both have the same plan, so they pay the same amount each month. One never streams, the other streams constantly. The first subscriber is subsidizing the other subscribers streaming. So by separating the physical media rentals from the streaming, the first subscriber will be able to pay less by dropping the streaming that they never used. The flip side is that the second subscriber will have to pay more to be able to do both. This is not an unreasonable approach; why make someone pay for streaming they aren't using? The problem is that Netflix did not give a "bundle discount" to people that get both. Even if the discount was only a couple of dollars, it would make the increase a bit less and give the subscriber the feeling that they got something.
If I keep streaming (which I rarely use) and two at a time blu-rays, my fee will go up $4.99 to $23.99 (without tax). However, if I cancel streaming, it will go down $3.00 to $14.99, and like some say, to the prices we used to pay before things went up and they gave us streaming as a 'bonus'.
Consider this: $23.99+tax will get you almost 16 blu-ray rentals from RedBox. However, I don't think I go for more than 12 discs per month which would be around $19.56 from RedBox. Suddenly I also realized that I got Amazon Prime, and for right now, I also get streaming from them. So cancelling Netflix streaming FOR ME makes sense, since I will be saving $3 (as explained above) and just keeping the two at a time rentals...or I can go up for three at a time and try to watch as many HQ movies as I can. After all, streaming DOES suck whether you're watching it in your high-end PC, XBOX 360, PS3, Wii, iPad, iPod or iPhone.
@mohman77 - please do everyone else a favor and cut back to 1 disc out at a time. Your inability to find time over the past month and a half to watch the Fighter means that someone else has to wait longer to see it. It's very inconsiderate.
I can stream brand new movies on Vudu on release day. There are some new movies that you can't get on release day with Netflix. I would much rather use my Vudu credit, or pay for a movie as I go than deal with Netflix greed. Also on Vudu you have the shoice of Standard, HD or HDX video quality, each with it's own price and 5.1 surround. For those of you who haven't tried it, it's the best quality available.
If they want us to pay that, then I'd expect Starz to get off their ass, offer up HD and 5.1 on their streams. Everything else is old school and pretty much worthless. Things also need to hit streaming faster if they expect us to fork over that kind of cash. What a complete joke.
Don't care for streaming anyway. I hate it. But they ain't been getting any good catalog titles for a while now. I wanted to rent MACHINE GUN MCCAIN and MONTE WALSH and they don't carry them. And if you're looking to rent some recent SHAW BROTHERS titles that just came released by Dragon Dyanasty or Tokyo Shock, forget it.
Well I did the 30 day free trial for downstreaming through my Sony Blu Ray Player. It kept losing the Internet connection, the the movie would have to start all over again. This did not happen when streaming Crackle. or the others on my player. Once they get that fixed, I'll go back to streaming. To date, no one has contacted me.
Truth be told, after watching only one or two films via Netflix streaming on my PS3, I never bothered to use the streaming service again even though it was part of my (and everyone's) plan. Now that I have become accustomed to high-def with its sharp picture and clear sound, the decidedly low-end sound and even lower-end, downright hazy picture quality delivered via Netflix's streaming was just not acceptable. And there isn't a wide variety of titles available to stream. Plus, navigating the films via streaming (i.e., fast-forwarding, fast-reversing, chapter skipping, etc.) was a slow, clunky experience. Given all that, the only method I ever really experience Netflix rentals is via Blu-ray and DVD by mail with the one-disc-at-a-time option. That's fine for me.
$10 per month for one DVD at a time is actually a little less than what I pay now for that plan plus the streaming I never use. I still do wish the general quality of the service would increase. Titles from Criterion, for many films the only home video version available are few and far between on Netflix and Criterion blus don't really exist on the site. Too many titles, especially blu-rays have waiting periods, even for films new to home video. And yet the price continues to increase.
Over the past year or so, Netflix has made a series of puzzling decisions, all apparently in efforts to reduce expenses and increase profit margins, but none that provides a high quality experience for its customers. They included... The previous, smaller rate increases without a corresponding rise in service or quality. Its surcharge to rent blu-ray discs, even as the cost of BDs was dropping fairly steeply. Its declaration that it was no longer a DVD & blu-ray rental service but a streaming service (despite the fact that the technology involved had not advanced to the point where streaming could be delivered at a satisfactory quality and the fact that content available for streaming was still quite limited compared to DVD). And now we have an announcement of a massive, unwarranted price hike, again without an improvement in service or quality. (Or it can be considered a smaller price hike if customers choose to eliminate one of the modes of delivery and go with DVD & blu-ray only (as I will) or Streaming only.)
For those familiar with Blockbuster, what do you think of their mail service (is it fast)? and their lineup of movies (is it diverse with films from all eras and countries)? And how's the price and value?
I'll probably stay with Netflix for now. Redbox, the most obvious rival, doesn't really appeal to me because, if I'm going to rent movies, 1. it's much more convenient for them to come to me rather for me to visit a kiosk and 2. I understand Redbox offers big, recent Hollywood films more or less exclusively and rather neglects other types of films which I also watch including older pictures, foreign films and smaller, independent ("arthouse") films and even documentaries.
I've been a member since 1999. I just realized that they eliminated my grandfather clause special pricing (4 blus for the price of 3). Now I'm just another commoner. Oh well, I'll still keep them, just switch maybe to the 2 blu + streaming plan. Still a decent deal.
Hold on people. I just got the email and I think this is great. Netflix is just adding options. The new plan now allows me to drop the streaming like I've wanted to do all along and save myself 3$ a month in the process. And if I do decide I'm not watching that many discs and would like the streaming again, I can just do one disc and the streaming for the same price as I'm paying now. That's not really so bad since I'm sure I can watch just as much with one disc at a time and streaming as I have been doing with two out at a time. Because I'm not watching movies everyday.
And for those who complain about waits on disc titles just don't know how to work the system to get new releases without the waits. All you have to do is time your returns so Netflix receives your last disc on the day before the listed release date of your desired title. Then they will ship it so you get it on the release day with no wait. It has worked for me every single time.
And for those who complain about BD content, well, as far as I've seen pretty much every new release comes with a BD option. (At least the major titles anyway, maybe not some of the smaller ones.) That's good enough for me.
BluPix: That was a very well thought-out post and motivated me to answer your question about Blockbuster. I jumped the Neflix ship after the second blu-ray price hike was imposed. It was one thing when they wanted to increase the fee $1...that surcharge I had no problem with. Then Netflix pushed it by increasing the surcharge to $4 just a few months later for the three blu-rays at a time subscription. Like you and others, I was tired of seeing no increase in blu-ray inventory and constantly seeing my first five choices skipped over for a dvd that was further down in my queue. To me it was just a money grab.
So I went to Blockbuster and I didn't see a difference in turntime or selection. I'm in NJ and the distribution center was also in New Brunswick just like where Netflix was sending it from. Put it in the mail one day, center receives it the next (most times) and I have my new selection on the third day (again most times). Blockbuster seems to always get the blu-ray copy of each new release and even most of the catalog titles. I have never had a problem finding an indie title either except maybe a handful that are listed as very long waits. I was very happy with my decision and I think my monthly fee with tax comes to around $18.10.
And for those who are saying, "what do you think Blockbuster will do when they see Netflix increasing prices": I was worried about the same thing when I switched over. I thought Blockbuster would definitely phase in a blu-ray surcharge and for the length of my subscription (about two years now), they never have. Prices are the same as the DVD plan. If they do, I'll be unhappy but at least they keep current blu-ray inventory, get new releases when they actually come out and not 30 days later and seem like they really want to compete instead of acting like they're the only option.
As for streaming...I checked it out over a friends house and the selection was really weak and as someone else posted too clunky to operate. I'm all about the picture and audio quality so to me, I'm previewing the bluray before I splurge to buy. So if you don't care about streaming, Blockbuster would be a very fine alternative and smooth transtion for blu-ray rentals.