Netflix Separates DVD and Streaming Accounts
Netflix took another step toward making streaming its dominant rental method by announcing a new pricing plan that separates DVD rentals and movie streaming into separate accounts … unless customers pay more.
Previously, the basic Netflix subscription would provide DVD rentals (one disc at a time) and unlimited streaming, with more expensive options for two discs or Blu-rays. Now unlimited streaming is in a subscription all by itself, at $8 a month, and single-disc subscriptions are also $8 but do not provide streaming access.
Customers can still subscribe to plans that provide both DVDs and streaming, but those plans are now $16 and up. For those who only stream or use DVDs, this actually makes a Netflix subscription a bit cheaper, and Netflix says that was one of the reasons behind this decision.
"Netflix members love watching instantly , but we've come to recognize there is still a very large continuing demand for DVDs by mail," Andy Rendich, Netflix chief service and operations officer, said in a statement. "By better reflecting the underlying costs and offering our lowest prices ever for unlimited DVDs, we hope to provide a great value to our current and future DVD-by-mail members."
But for those who use both services, this is a huge price hike. For many people, this is added incentive to ditch DVDs because they are more likely to stream video from the Internet than stick a disc in the player. This is also part of Netflix's strategy, as the company has made it clear in recent months that it sees streaming as the major part of its business model.
The price changes are immediate for new subscriptions. Current members can keep their plans until Sept. 1, when they will need to switch plans or pay almost double for DVD and streaming combo plans.