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Netflix Announces Streaming Only Plans and Higher Prices for DVDs

Unknown Lamer posted more than 2 years ago | from the postmaster-general-reportedly-unhappy dept.

Media 488

micsaund writes "While Netflix has continued to drop fees and still maintain a good services, today, they take three steps in the other direction by doubling the cost of the plan you probably already have: 'So for instance, our current $9.99 a month membership for unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs will be split into 2 distinct plans ... Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $7.99 a month ... Unlimited DVDs, 1 out at-a-time (no streaming), for $7.99 a month. ... The price for getting both of these plans will be $15.98 a month ($7.99 + $7.99).' Now, if they could get everything available on streaming, this would be fine, but how many times have you needed to get a physical disc for that oddball movie, or had a movie in your instant queue that magically disappears due to some behind-the-scenes contract expiration or whatever?"

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488 comments

Doubling the value! (1)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739690)

With regard to the bottom line, of course. :-P

What, you thought customers mattered? How quaint.

Cynically,

Does not affect MY prices (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739804)

...because I'm not in a country where Netflix is available.
If I was, I'd be a bit peeved, of course.

Re:Doubling the value! (1)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739870)

I feel compelled to mention that they only increase their streaming selection every day. Just recently, all of the Star Trek TV series came on Instant (There goes my free time). So technically, they are adding value every day, and not charging more for it. Imagine if they charged based on the size of their streaming catalogue, or per-usage. ;)

Also, Amazon, Google, and Hulu combined still don't match up. Add that to increasing contractual costs (http://money.cnn.com/2011/07/08/technology/netflix_starz_contract/), and the price increase is no surprise.

Finally, keep in mind this is a price decrease for those not interested in streaming at all, and $16 is WAY cheaper than my previous $50 cable bill...

Some gets added to Instant, some disappears (1)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740028)

Just recently, all of the Star Trek TV series came on Instant (There goes my free time).

A little while back we were watching an episode of Doc Martin and had to stop partway through. The next morning, we try to open up the same episode to resume watching, only to find that that particular season was no longer viewable on Instant. We called tech support, and were told that content gets pulled out of rotation from time to time. Their recommended recourse -- wait a couple weeks and check again.

So sure, Star Trek came on Instant. But what else went away instead?

Finally, keep in mind this is a price decrease for those not interested in streaming at all, and $16 is WAY cheaper than my previous $50 cable bill

But for those of us who had happily been using the service as we'd signed up for it, using both Instant and DVDs-by-mail for $9.99 a month, this new pricing is not exactly a bargain.

Cheers,

Random Rotation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740138)

Bittorrent never seems to rotate series out. Far more reliable apparently. Sad, I'd hoped Netflix would improve in breadth and depth to the point Bittorrent would be unappealing to them thar pirates.

Re:Some gets added to Instant, some disappears (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740238)

It's not Netflix's fault, that's solely the fault of the content providers that insist on having their content only time limited. So, I've found that I want to watch a movie and then when I get to it a couple days later it's no longer available. I'm sure that Netflix would love to have content stay permanently.

It's basically just more evidence that content providers don't really care about piracy.

Re:Doubling the value! (1)

just_another_sean (919159) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740030)

But, as the article mentioned you have to be careful to note the "available until" blurb. I've had things disappear out of instant because I played the "I'll get around to watching that eventually" game.

Agreed that more seems to be available all the time but I suspect it's not just contracts that keep them shuffling things in and out of availability; it seems also they only have room for so much at any given time...

Re:Doubling the value! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740210)

It can also be a scavenger hunt sometimes just to find things online. The orginal series was available inside Microsoft Media Center. There is no easy way to everything that is available.

Re:Doubling the value! (1)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740026)

Netflix: hey guys, we added more cost and less value! Surely this is good for the shareholders!

reality: watch as the spiral downward begins.

Re:Doubling the value! (1)

Mister Whirly (964219) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740294)

Netflix is constantly adding things to their streaming side of things, so it isn't like they are charging more and offering less. And Netflix is still the best paid streaming service available.

reality: most people will either just go to streaming only (like I plan on) and some will pay more. in the end I am sure Netflix will not lose much in the deal. They have been doing things right from the beginning - they jumped on the streaming video stuff when other physical media only rental places didn't. Most of those other places are no longer around and Netflix is thriving. I personally know a handful of people dropping their $50+ cable bills and getting the $10 Netflix streaming option. $10 is still way better than $50.

Re:Doubling the value! (1)

redemtionboy (890616) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740072)

So what? Making a profit doesn't matter? Clearly netflix was in it to provide a streaming service to everyone at a loss. Unfortunately this was inevitable. If you want to blame anyone, blame the studios. They've been attacking Netflix and demanding higher prices for years for the same content. Netflix costs go up, so does the cost of service.

Re:Doubling the value! (3, Funny)

wondafucka (621502) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740076)

This is why I've been sending back 3 DVDs in one mailer. I now have several hundred empty envelopes which I will promptly insert a slice of balogna into each and drop them into the mailbox. Statement made.

Re:Doubling the value! (3, Funny)

thebra (707939) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740142)

This is why I've been sending back 3 DVDs in one mailer. I now have several hundred empty envelopes which I will promptly insert a slice of balogna into each and drop them into the mailbox. Statement made.

If you are giving away free bologna send some my way.

New service: Netwich! (2)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740166)

This is why I've been sending back 3 DVDs in one mailer. I now have several hundred empty envelopes which I will promptly insert a slice of balogna into each and drop them into the mailbox. Statement made.

I love it! You could provide a whole deli-by-mail service -- a slice of bologna in one, cheese in another, mayo in a third, and perhaps a slice apiece of nice garlicky bread in a couple more.

Mm, mm! I'm'a have me some of that! Especially after going through all that US Postal Service machinery. Yum!

Re:Doubling the value! (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740252)

First, I'd pay way more than $8/mo for what I'm getting on streaming right now. Second, the DVD part of the service obviously has much more overhead involved and therefore would likely cost more. Especially if they want to try and eventually price people out of choosing that service and going with just streaming.

My only complaints about streaming is the selection and the fact that so much stuff is only there shortly. I find about 20% of my queue just vanishing about every month. Worse, even when you do watch some stuff, parts are missing. I was going to watch Quantum Leap, but when I started scrolling through the episodes, I found that 20% of them were unavailable. Why in the hell would you make an entire TV show series from 20 years ago be available, but then remove like a fifth of it? Especially if you're going to remove things like the first episode and the last episode?

Going to reduce their revenue (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36739700)

Most people use the discs mainly and stream infrequently or stream frequently and use the discs rarely. For $7.99, I can pass on the streaming titles.

Re:Going to reduce their revenue (2)

God'sDuck (837829) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739778)

For $7.99, I can pass on the DVDs....and use the money saved to rent the oddball other titles from another service. Up until now Netflix had complete vendor lock-in for my wallet. Now I'll learn more about iTunes/Amazon. Encouraging users to learn about the competition can't be a good idea.

Re:Going to reduce their revenue (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739930)

Personally Amazon and Hulu have been a "Win" combination for me.

Hulu's streaming library seems to keep growing, and they've got the Criterion Collection for Hulu+ members (Hulu+ costs $7.99 a month ... imagine that ... I wonder if NetFlix is feeling some heat).

Throw in the occasional rental on Amazon Video (2$-4$ depending), and it might be compelling. It certainly is compared to paying what the Cable Company wanted.

Re:Going to reduce their revenue (2)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740018)

Doesn't Hulu require watching commercials, or has that changed? I just can't endure commercials anymore.

Re:Going to reduce their revenue (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740016)

We are currently on the $19.99/mo unlimited streaming plus 3 DVDs out at a time plan. It looks like that's going up to $23.98/month. I'm not happy about it. But I can live with it.

Re:Going to reduce their revenue (1)

jemtallon (1125407) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740054)

I'm of a similar opinion - I haven't heard of many who utilize both streaming and DVDs to their full potential. I used to stream 99% of my content and very rarely added a DVD to my queue. Eventually I realized it was the same price and easier to just switch to the existing $7.99 all-streaming package and pay $2 here and there to VUDU for those odd movies that weren't on Netflix streaming. I've been very happy with that arrangement so far.

Nickle and dimed to death (0)

Lord_Rion (15642) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739704)

So $17.99 a month (with BlueRay) is $216 a year... They don't have enough new movies available that I want to watch ever month to make it work $18 a month. For $9 a month I can get HBO/Showtime from my cable company or rent a On Demand movie (when I can find one I want to watch for $6.00).

I wonder how many customers this will cost them? It J\just seems that with usage caps popping up all over.. it seems that increasing your fees and offering nothing more seems to be a really good way to shoot yourself in the foot. If Netflix was using that increase to payoff the ISPs to get their traffic excluded from the caps it might be worth it.

Can't get premium TV without basic TV (5, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739784)

For $9 a month I can get HBO/Showtime from my cable company

My cable company won't even let me subscribe to HBO or Showtime until I already subscribe to a $80/mo bundle of other channels that I don't watch.

Re:Can't get premium TV without basic TV (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740184)

Exactly. If I actually could get HBO and Showtime for $9 per month I probably would. But there's no way I'm paying $80 (or even $40) for the bundle of those plus the channels I don't care about.

Re:Nickle and dimed to death (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740088)

18$ is only if you want both streaming and dvd by mail, look at from their side, shipping the dvd's to you is not free throw on top of that licensing costs they are probably not making much either.

Re:Nickle and dimed to death (1)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740274)

So $17.99 a month (with BlueRay) is $216 a year... They don't have enough new movies available that I want to watch ever month to make it work $18 a month. For $9 a month I can get HBO/Showtime from my cable company

Wait did you just argue that HBO/Showtime (@ $108 per year for those keeping score) is "good value" while netflix is "bad value" @ $216 (with unlimited streaming and bluray/dvd service).

I've had HBO, and its not half as good as good as netflix. So even at half the price its still not better value.

If Netflix was using that increase to payoff the ISPs to get their traffic excluded from the caps it might be worth it.

I see you are not a fan of net neutrality.

or rent a On Demand movie (when I can find one I want to watch for $6.00).

So if you watch 3 movies on-demand a month, you break even with netflix. On-demand only is good value if you barely watch movies at all.

Re:Nickle and dimed to death (1)

ktappe (747125) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740286)

it seems that increasing your fees and offering nothing more seems to be a really good way to shoot yourself in the foot. If Netflix was using that increase to payoff the ISPs to get their traffic excluded from the caps it might be worth it.

The other questionable part of this is the timing. Isn't summertime when a higher % of people go outside due to the warm weather and longer days, and also go on vacation? Thus this is time when more Netflix customers would be inclined to react to the price increase with a cancellation. Compare to the scenario where Netflix did this as a huge snowstorm hit the eastern seaboard, stranding millions in their homes. Parents with cabin-fevered kids would gladly pay double to get a fresh movie on the TV to shut those kids up.

Hmmm (4, Interesting)

thebra (707939) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739706)

Well I'm not to sure how I feel about this. I currently have the streaming + 1 dvd. I only watch a dvd every few months but the option was still nice to have. There is no way I would pay 8 bucks a month for the few dvds I would watch. But on the other hand the streaming selection is pretty poor so paying 8 bucks a month for just streaming doesn't seem like that great of a deal. I think they've shot themselves in the foot but without a great alternative they will probably get away with it.

Is there a commitment? (2)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739814)

If there is no long-term commitment, then subscribe to DVDs and streaming in alternate months, and watch those works that aren't available on streaming during each DVD month.

Re:Hmmm (1)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739842)

. I think they've shot themselves in the foot but without a great alternative they will probably get away with it.

Blockbuster? They have DVDs by mail either flat rate for all you want or some per-movie charge. I don't know about streaming. They claim that they have some deals to get new content from studios a month before Netflix too.

Re:Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36739878)

I'm in the same situation. I'll probably drop NetFlix and go with RedBox! If enough of us do this, they will take notice.

Re:Hmmm (4, Insightful)

Xacid (560407) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739900)

I don't know if it's a great alternative but Blockbuster is still alive and kicking: http://www.blockbuster.com/download [blockbuster.com] Anyone have any experience with them?

My knee-jerk reaction is to just cancel my account and be pissed. Afterall - it's a pretty large increase percentage-wise. However, when I really think about it - they've just been too cheap for a while. As long as they don't start pulling a move like the cable companies did and slap advertising on top of a paid service I think I'm okay with this. Compared to the volume of movies I watch now vs. the cost of getting them from a brick and mortar rental place I'm saving hundreds a month.

Re:Hmmm (1)

darkwing_bmf (178021) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740116)

Well, this is all subjective, but I find the streaming plus over the air broadcasts a much better value than cable. The streaming lineup is increasing constantly for older movies and past season TV shows (which is 90% of what basic cable offers anyway). For about the same cost you could get high speed internet plus Netflix or low speed internet plus basic cable.

Correct me if I'm wrong but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36739722)

Didn't they do this like six months ago?

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong but... (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739826)

No, they had provided a new, streaming only option in addition to unlimited streaming + N DVDs. They also raised the price of that plan by a dollar or two. Now, they're completely separating the two services, and increasing the price almost by factor of two if you want both. Looks like I'll be watching less DVDs and getting them randomly from RedBox when I do want one.

As it was, I watched about 2-4 DVDs per month. The $4 that would cost me at RedBox is less than the $8 it will now cost me on Netflix. So, Netflix just lost half of a customer, as I will stick around for the streaming. Shame.

Typo in the summary (1)

madhatter256 (443326) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739760)

How is the price for DVD only subscription higher if it stays the same?

Bad summary.

OH well, this doesn't affect me because I use torrents for my shows.

Re:Typo in the summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36739912)

so you're a thief?

Re:Typo in the summary (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740006)

Yes. He breaks into the studio's at night and steals the original reels from them.

Re:Typo in the summary (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739914)

OH well, this doesn't affect me because I use torrents for my shows.

this should be communicated to the clowns at netflix.

JUST as people were given an alternate 'legal' way to watch movies without cable or sat-tv, they go and de-motivate those who just gave them a chance.

it would be interesting to see if torrent i/o goes up (measurably) over the next 2 months or just stays the same.

Saves me lots! (1)

CaptBubba (696284) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739816)

This save me a whole bunch of money; now I have a good reason to cancel my plan.

Don't raise my cost by 50%+, not give me even a token thing more (and actually have a constantly shrinking streaming selection), and tell me this is a wonderful thing that is serving my best interests. People get angry when you lie to their face about something they can clearly se eis untrue. They assume you assume they are idiots.

Re:Saves me lots! (0)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739872)

people are out of work, few are hiring, and yet entertainment feels it can 50% increase our luxury costs.

I'm outta there. been a longterm netflix sub but it ends this september. I knew the good netflix times would not last forever.

RIP

Monopoly Yay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36739818)

Netflix doesn't have any serious competition, so why not raise the price?

Re:Monopoly Yay (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739882)

I've actually rented stuff from iTunes more lately because it wasn't available in Netflix streaming queue. Netflix might not have much competition in the one-fee-per-month category, but the definitely don't have a monopoly on streaming content.

Re:Monopoly Yay (2)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740046)

It's only a few dozen titles, but the iTunes Store does have some movies to rent for 99 cents each. There's a few removed and a few added every tuesday.

Re:Monopoly Yay (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740110)

I was thinking more of tv shows. The iTunes store has the current season, usually, but Netflix is usually two seasons behind.

Good Idea or Cable Company Idea? (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739846)

On the one hand, I'm moderately curious to try out NetFlix.

Since ditching the Cable Company I've been using an Antenna, Hulu, and Amazon Video to watch pretty much anything I've wanted (or at least enough that I haven't felt the miss except for a few "Cable Only" shows).

I've been thinking about giving NetFlix a whirl as a supplement, but now I'm not sure which side I'd try (maybe the Disk Rental).

On the other hand, considering that the reason I told the Cable Companies to take a hike was that they kept jacking up their fees and giving me little in return, I can see this being the tipping point for some customers to move on to a "NetFlix Free" life.

Rental Confusion (1)

cob666 (656740) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739856)

What I don't understand is how streaming a movie is any different than renting a DVD in the eyes of the consumer. I also know that it's MUCH easier to copy a DVD then to capture the stream. So, what's up with the bizarre and seemingly arbitrary limitation of movies available for streaming? It's even worse in Canada, I can pretty much rent the same DVDs but the content available for streaming is just rubbish compared to what's available in the US.

Re:Rental Confusion (1)

HikingStick (878216) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740094)

What's the difference between renting a DVD and streaming? The utilization of your Internet connection. The kids in our house fall into two age groups, so we often end up with two different movies being viewed at the same time. When they both are being streamed, my wife and I can observe the slowdown while we are using the Internet for other activitities. For some consumers (especially in many rural locations), even a single streaming film would chew up most of their available throughput.

Re:Rental Confusion (1)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740102)

The movie industry limits the streaming so that we, as consumers, cannot rapid-fire watch a bunch of streams. It also definitely limits how many people can simultaneously watch a movie using the same service. Netflix lets you use the same account with multiple devices (I believe 5?) with streaming.

That could easily be 5 different people in 5 different houses. Now, since I know that people simply queue up DVDs and rip them as they come in, I don't think this really stops anything, but no one has ever claimed that the movie industry is either accepting of technology or simply reasonable with its customers. After all, it's awfully hard to argue with a cartel.

I think this has more to do with the fear of innovation and the lowered profit margins than anything else. After all, it's harder to convince people it's worth $20 for a movie they can download compared to a DVD. Of course, standard economics may prove that the sheer number of people that would rather spend $5 to download a movie (and then download more movies as a result) would gain them a lot more money, but this is turning into a circular discussion of their unreasonable nature and fear of technology (not to mention "Hollywood accounting").

Re:Rental Confusion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740128)

What I don't understand is how streaming a movie is any different

The difference is that you need to work out a contract with the studios to stream movies. This is further complicated by the fact that they'll sign exclusive deals with other streaming companies so you might not be able to negotiate a deal no matter how much you offer.

Re:Rental Confusion (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740178)

At least in the US (I assume in Canada as well), the first sale doctrine means that no one has to agree to any terms for Netflix to rent DVDs--Netflix purchases the DVDs and then can do what they want with them. In the worst case, assuming a completely antagonistic studio, they can buy the DVDs from a retailer, and the studio can't do anything about it.

Streaming movies, on the other hand, takes the active support of the copyright holder, since netflix needs to buy/lease the right to reproduce the film. Like all contract arrangements, this is much harder than just buying a DVD, or even arranging for a bulk purchase price. It does suck for consumers, because to them there isn't a significant difference, but the more people are involved, the more chances exist for something to go wrong.

Re:Rental Confusion (1)

RoverDaddy (869116) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740196)

It's not that it's different in the eyes of the consumer. It's different in the eyes of the studios. The Studio's let Netflix get the DVDs sooner then they allow streaming, but once Netflix has the DVDs they can rent them out over and over forever (AFAIK). Streaming is subject to licensing, is forced to come -after- the initial DVD window to protect the studio's DVD sales, and can be revoked when the licensing contract expires.

Netflix is dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36739876)

I don't know if it is Netflix's fault or the studios', but the service-cost to service-value ratio is getting bigger and bigger every day. I would guess it is the increasing cost of license fees that is to blame, but Netflix has made some pretty crappy decisions that are independent of studio greed (see incredibly poorly done watch-instantly interface redesign and subsequent customer complaint handling for an example). Either way, between this and what's going on with Hulu it seems that the days of relatively cheap (but legal) access to studio/network/cable content without a cable package are coming to an end.

Starting to seem like the cable bill (1)

JackSpratts (660957) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739890)

It'll be full DVDs for me. Menus, x-tra features (RIPPABLE! - ahem) various languages & subs for the hearing impaired etc. Never streamed that much anyway. I'll stick to discs-by-mail, thanks.

Saves me money (3, Interesting)

characterZer0 (138196) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739892)

Now I do not have to pay for streaming that I could not use anyway because I do not user Windows or OSX.

I just switched from 2 DVDs out + unlimited streaming for $15 per mo to 2 DVDs out and no streaming for $12 per month. Same service, lower price.

Thank you Netflix!

Re:Saves me money (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740244)

Its not limited to computers, you know. It's also available on iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, Apple TV 2, Nintendo Wii, Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft Xbox 360, Boxee or a TV/Blu-Ray player with built-in Netflix support.

I don't count OS X as supported anyway. I didn't switch to Mac so I could keep using Microsoft products. A streaming service is not going to make me install Silverlight.

With the extremely low monthly caps in Canada, Netflix can't grab enough market share anyway. There's a clear conflict of interest with the major ISPs since they also offer cable/satellite services with their own on-demand movies (6 dollars to rent a movie... right), there's no chance Netflix will be able to survive in Canada, not to mention the poor selection on their streaming-only service (no DVD rental for us).

I just canceled by Netflix account. (1)

yossie (93792) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739908)

For a number of years, as a Netflix customer, I've been watching and thus receiving less and less DVDs a month. Two years ago I cut back to one-at-a-time. Streaming was free. Then the price went up for $2 (apparently, history being re-written, that hike was for the one-at-a-time dvd plan, the cost of the original one-at-a-time dvd plan being directed towards a streaming plan!) $10/mo still felt like a soft cost, I could absorb it, I did. Now it's going up to $16/mo. I like getting a dvd now and then, rarely, maybe 1-2 a month. I stream a movie about as often. I can live without both of those. I'll get my DVDs at the corner store or on demand and live without old movies. Netflix, a company I once thought of as great, is now just another company trying to get as much out of me as they can. Well, the pushed a bit too hard. They now get ZERO out of me and I hold grudges. Netflix: Don't expect me to return to you anytime soon EVEN if you improve your cost structure. It will cost you all the money you lose from me in the meanwhile AND the cost of re-acquiring me as a customer - buying my loyalty back, should you choose to, to get me back.

Re:I just canceled by Netflix account. (1)

steppin_razor_LA (236684) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740012)

I'm not going to cancel my Netflix account, but I am thinking about switching to a cheaper version than I have right now. Right now I have 2 blurays + streaming. I like having access to the streaming, but I don't use it very much. I certainly am not getting $8/month of value from it. I'll probably just end up dropping streaming completely and give them less/month then I used to pay.

I understand that the streaming service is adding to expenses, but they should consider some sort of tiered usage (i.e. so many hours of streaming/month or something) otherwise it just isn't a good enough deal for casuals.

seems like an iffy business deal (1)

LukeCrawford (918758) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739916)

I mean, bandwidth, at their scale, has got to be pretty cheap, and raising prices on existing customers? always pisses people off.

Personally, though, this is okay for me; I use the DVDs and I don't stream, so a small discount is welcome.

Stop complaining (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36739918)

In Canada, there's no DVD rental and the streaming list is even worst than yours. I think we don't even have 10% of your selection. And I'm not talking about odd movies either... The Terminator, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Terminator: Salvation and Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles' are not available. Oddly enough we do have
Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Go ahead, search for blockbuster movies. You won't find many of them, even if they're decades old.

And in other countries, there's no Netflix at all, not even streaming.

So stop complaining. Even at twice the price, it's still cheaper than the rip-off monthly cost from cable and satellite companies and they're not even including on-demand watching in their packages.

but does it run on linux (2)

bobbomo (877614) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739932)

still no? i understand the silverlight DRM issue on linux, but if they can stream to roku and game consoles without silverlight (perhaps xbox?), then why can't the same feed be made available to linux PCs?

I've been very pleased with quality and content for streaming through consoles. I only get 1 DVD a month or so, so I will definitely lower my plan and use RedBox as needed.

Blame the content makers (5, Informative)

jcdick1 (254644) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739940)

The estimate is that in 2012, Netflix's license fees will go from $180 million in 2010 to $1.98 billion in 2012, according to this [cnn.com] .

Its going to be very hard for anyone to become the legal clearinghouse for media at a price point most consumers see as reasonable because the studios won't allow it.

What about multiple disk plans? (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739956)

The original article [netflix.com] says that they will "no longer offer a plan that includes both unlimited streaming and DVDs by mail," but the example they cite only includes 1 DVD at a time. When they were DVD-only, it was usually 3 or 4 at a time.

The implication is that they're going to stop offering those plans at all come September. That seems premature: the streaming catalog is getting better, but it's far from complete.

I have the 3 plan and am currently paying $24 a month for it. Currently, each additional disk costs either $5 or $6. They could be planning to raise that to $8, or just not offering it at all, which would be kind of odd.

Will be cancelling, any competitors? (1)

lavaforge (245529) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739962)

I'll be cancelling my subscription this Fall.

Between the horrible UI rewrite, the shrinking streaming selection, and now a price hike, Netflix no longer offers enough value to be worth the money.

Anybody know of competitors? Amazon's streaming service looks kind of interesting.

Re:Will be cancelling, any competitors? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740208)

There's this thing called bittorrent. Completely free shows, can save ones you like without any hassle, no commercials, use your preferred viewer, largest library of any service.

http://www.whitewhine.com/ (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36739968)

http://www.whitewhine.com/

piratebay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36739972)

"but how many times have you needed to get a physical disc for that oddball movie?"

Never....ARRRRGGG! The price is right too.

Redbox... (4, Insightful)

nam37 (517083) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739976)

Basically, this will drive people to use Redbox for disc-based movies and NetFlix for screaming.

Re:Redbox... (2)

thebra (707939) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740206)

Basically, this will drive people to use Redbox for disc-based movies and NetFlix for screaming.

Ahhhhhhhhh!

Re:Redbox... (1)

powerlord (28156) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740224)

Basically, this will drive people to use Redbox for disc-based movies and NetFlix for screaming.

Based on some of the replies, I'd say you're right. People sure are screaming a lot about NetFlix's decision.

Drop the Disc (1)

bareman (60518) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739978)

It's time to go streaming only. If everyone drops the DVD then they'll have to offer the content on streaming or get beat by a competitor that will offer it. By keeping that just-in-case disc subscription you delay the inevitable change.

What? (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739980)

"Netflix Announces Streaming Only Plans..."

Why would they introduce something they've had for a long time?

My solution (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739984)

$8/month streaming only - great for hopping around when I don't know what to watch.

$1/DVD rental at the video store at the end of my block for DVDs. I don't think I watch more than one or two movies at a month, anyways.

Done! That, plus the 20 ATSC channels I get with my new roof-mount antenna, and I'm saving $30/month from not having a cable bill. The antenna will pay for itself in two months.

So they do this after killing Blockbuster? (4, Insightful)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739988)

The only Blockbuster left in a 10 mile radius of my house is an unmanned kiosk which is broken half the time. If I can't get everything via streaming, then Netflix has become far less useful to me. I was under the impression this was a semi-sustainable business; if I had known that they were just doing it long enough to kill the competition then jack up prices, I probably would have stuck with old faithful.

Re:So they do this after killing Blockbuster? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740266)

blockbuster did the same thing, except they attempted to pull the microsoft approach.

both have failed.

Anonymous Subscription? (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739992)

Now that there is an option to go streaming only and never have to worry about physical delivery, how hard is it to anonymously subscribe to netflix?

Can you send them a cashiers check for a year at a time? How about using one of those debit cards you can buy with cash at the convenience store? Is there such a thing as a netflix gift card that you can buy with cash?

I know that netflix will still get your IP address when they stream content to you (unless you have a really kick-ass VPN tunnel or the like), but I'm assuming that if you lie about your identity - especially if you do it intelligently and use a fake address that is still in the same town so geo-locators won't throw an alarm about your IP address, they will only bother to cross-reference your viewing habits with your made up identity rather your real self.

Re:Anonymous Subscription? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740258)

I've never tried it, but a prepaid gift card might work.

I might be checking out the library... (1)

Leebert (1694) | more than 2 years ago | (#36739998)

I carpool in a parking lot next to a county library that just opened up last year. I think I'll stop in and see what their DVD collection looks like.

Re:I might be checking out the library... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740118)

some things from 1980's, mostly...

Redbox and Zediva (1)

KCWaldo (1555553) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740050)

We end up renting most of our physical DVD's from Redbox anyway if they are not available on Zediva or Netflix streaming. I think this is a mistake by Netflix as their streaming content sucks for adults. We have to keep it for the kids though, they have great streaming for kids shows. Sounds like they want out of the DVD business.

Maybe this makes cents? (2)

nauseum_dot (1291664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740066)

Sounds like the content providers are starting to work as an oligopoly and extracting the maximum cash out of Netflix, either that or Netfix is starting to cash in on the growing customer base.

Another thought just popped into my head, and that might be that Netflix is trying to actively fracture their customer base to beat on their chest to the content providers that streaming or on demand content is the only means people will access media, or it could be that they are going to sell off the DVD distribution side and focus on the lower costs associated without having to warehouse, sort, ship, receive, and resort DVDs.

Re:Maybe this makes cents? (1)

Kamokazi (1080091) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740220)

Another thought just popped into my head, and that might be that Netflix is trying to actively fracture their customer base to beat on their chest to the content providers that streaming or on demand content is the only means people will access media,

I'm inclined to think this may more actually be the case, based on some recent comments from their CEO. I think they are forcing people to choose, and banking on them choosing streaming, therefore forcing more content to streaming.

The content owners are squeezing. (3, Informative)

DdJ (10790) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740114)

This should have been seen as inevitable, since it's been made clear that the content owners have been floored by the success of Netflix and are trying to negotiate much better terms for themselves now.

I'm delighted at how little my own costs are going up (less than 8% I think).

I'm also a little frustrated that so many people are reacting so strongly to this -- the content owners would all rather force us into "Hulu+" (with subscription plus advertising), or to "Zune Marketplace" or "iTunes" (per-episode purchase or rentals), or back to cable operators, and all the folks who are dropping their Netflix subscriptions are helping that happen. Ah well.

Dear Content Providers (5, Insightful)

Tailhook (98486) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740132)

I'm not going back. You'll have to live with some fraction of the cut you got for cable/satellite service, whether via Netflix or some other distributor. Streaming is the a la carte that should have been available 20 years ago. I will not pay for a package full of dreck. Pull whatever you want. I'll live with whatever is left over. You're not getting back to $70/month. Deal with it.

You need to adopt this attitude as well. These people need to take a few pay cuts.

Streaming vs DVD (1)

tanujt (1909206) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740136)

Netflix has been really fickle about streaming its titles lately. Some of the titles that were around for streaming have disappeared, some new ones have appeared. Some just made a cameo appearance towards the start of the summer. Now, it would be awesome if there were at least 60-70% of the movies that I want to see, available to stream. I'd have no problems with the split plan.

But as micsaund says, offbeat movies are usually on DVDs. Not just that, when you make a plan with friends to get together and watch a movie, getting a DVD makes the plan more official (people somehow seem to respect the plan more if you have a DVD, as compared to streaming it!). Also, Blu-ray is always good for the HD experience.

All in all, I think this move may cost Netflix some new users. I doubt if their old user-base is going to decrease, because loyalty costs less (both tangible/intangible costs) than finding a new service provider.

Ridiculous (1)

slimjim8094 (941042) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740144)

I pay the $10/mo for one DVD at a time, and streaming. There's a ton of stuff on DVD that doesn't get streamed, and I'm happy to wait for it. I use streaming all the time, but Netflix for me is as much about the DVDs.

Fine if they want to emphasize streaming, but I'm neither going to pay $8/mo for just DVDs, nor $8/mo for just streaming.

Pay-per-stream? (1)

samjam (256347) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740162)

I don't want a subscription, I want to just pay-per-view - like DVD rentals but without the hassle of going to the shop or waiting for the postman.

So far no-one wants to take my money except the pirates.

Shame.

Good for Cable Companies? (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740214)

"but how many times have you needed to get a physical disc for that oddball movie"

Oddball Movie? Most of their tier 1 movies are still only available via disk. Look at their top 100 list and notice the handfull that are available via streaming. Let alone the ones that were available and are now taken back to disk only.

I love Netflix, but they are pushing it if they think approaching basic cable prices can be justified. They are one of the reasons I dropped cable.

What if we all just cancel for a month? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740216)

So, what happens if we all cancel? They aren't grandfathering us. And certainly we can all go a month with out netflix. Certainly 10,000 people cancelling will send a message.

Thank you for lowering my monthly fee (1)

shawnmchorse (442605) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740254)

My price dropped $4/month by switching to a DVD/Blu-Ray only plan, getting rid of the streaming option that I never actually use. The streaming was too annoying for me to use in practice, really. Thank you Netflix and Slashdot!

You can still get everything... (1)

davevr (29843) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740278)

It is $7.99/mo. for the things that are available for streaming, then for new releases and things not available on streaming, it is an additional $0.00 for BitTorrent.

Movie studios, please do the math.

Competition (1)

northernfrights (1653323) | more than 2 years ago | (#36740280)

Given that this is occurring after a record breaking year of profits (due mainly to limiting users ability to add DVDs to their queue to only on the main website), you know this is nothing but a greedy attempt to keep profits rising. But with prices this much higher for the same service, they will open the door wide open to competition now. They may think they can charge us whatever they want because they are such a monopoly, but when you get this greedy, that can change in a heartbeat.

It was great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36740292)

because I only got 2 DVDs a month, and streamed the rest. Now I would have to pay 62% more for the same thing. Guess I'll drop DVDs and keep streaming. Netflix loses, because honestly there isn't much new on DVD that I want to watch anyway. I can wait out the content providers - they will cave eventually. If I don't see something for five years, BFD. They make money on early adopters, not me.

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