Netflix splits its DVD and streaming plans

By on July 12, 2011, 4:00 PM

Netflix has announced that it is once gain changing its pricing plans. The company is splitting its offerings into DVD and streaming.

First, Netflix is launching new DVD-only plans: only $8 a month for one DVD out at-a-time and $12 a month for two DVDs out at-a-time. Second, the company is separating unlimited DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming into separate plans. Members must now choose between a DVD-only plan, a streaming-only plan, or subscribe to both. Netflix will no longer offer a plan that includes both unlimited streaming and DVDs by mail.

The company's current $10 a month membership for unlimited streaming and unlimited DVDs has been split into two distinct plans: Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $8 a month and Unlimited DVDs (one out at-a-time, no streaming), for $8 a month. As a result, if you want both you'll have to pay a 60 percent premium: as both of these plans will cost you $16 a month.

For new members, these changes are effective immediately; for existing members, the new pricing will start for charges on or after September 1, 2011. To change or cancel your unlimited streaming plan, unlimited DVD plan, or both, existing members can go to Your Account on Netflix.

Back in November 2010, Netflix announced its $8 streaming-only plan and offered DVDs by mail as a $2 add on. The company soon realized that there is still a very large continuing demand for DVDs both from existing members as well as non-members.

As a result, Netflix has decided that treating DVDs as a $2 add on to its unlimited streaming plan doesn't makes great financial sense (read: the company is losing money) and it also doesn't satisfy people who just want DVDs. Creating an unlimited DVDs by mail plan (no streaming) satisfies the latter by lowering the price for them. Unfortunately, those that want both DVDs and streaming get screwed over in the process.




User Comments: 22

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treetops treetops said:

I have the streaming plan I was going to add dvds because there are a ton more dvds then streaming content. I read somewhere only 6% of the dvd content is offered streaming. I am not sure how accurate that is, it was from some random site on the internet. I cannot torrent with my isp because because of how much bandwidth it eat up so bleh. I can still torrent through my phones internet at least. Still netflix offers a pretty good plan, to bad they don't have a cable type division. Another problem with streaming is the quality is at its lowest unless you download at 1000 kbs+, below 1k is the lowest of there 5 tier quality streaming.

Mizzou Mizzou said:

Just got the email a couple hours ago. Think I'll just drop the streaming and stick with the DVD plan ... knew it was only a matter of time.

wcbert said:

I have Netfix with my Roku player. Completely forgot the Netfix also offers DVDs too until I read the article. I not going to bother with the DVD ever. To easy to have it steam when I ready to watch a movie.

RaiDeR55 said:

I have Netflix and they should father in the present customers.Like other company's do when they change there product some.But then again, IF they would just stream their whole library of content.for the price increase that would be great!!!..But doubt that will happen for awhile.

The other side of it .. Just stay with just Dvd's if thats the way you are set to watch shows,movies..

Scshadow said:

Guess I'll go back to pirating what I want to watch. Thanks for saving my money netflix.

Xero07 said:

Perhaps the amount of streaming content will benefit from them being isolated from each other

Mizzou Mizzou said:

I seldom use the streaming and prefer the features that are inherent in a DVD. Call it whatever you like, just see no point in paying for something that I rarely use and can easily do without.

IAMTHESTIG said:

They don't have enough streaming content yet... I know they are trying, but still not enough. I tried the 30 day trial and watched a good portion of TV shows I wanted to watch in that time, all I had left was movies.

Not only that but they have no force-HD option for their streaming. The auto detect bandwidth for streaming works very, very well, i'll admit... but often times would drop out of HD on my connection. I'm willing to wait for 5 minutes to buffer the TV show or whatever so I can have HD the entire time. It should keep buffering at least 80% of the video. I wish they would also hold the last few minutes in cache because sometimes you miss something and want to go back, but then you have to wait for it to re-buffer and often lose the HD stream you had going.

Once I see some of these improvements then i'll consider paying $8 a month...

Guest said:

Lets see poor economy... millions without jobs.... people trying to save money everywhere they can.

Taking my $12.50 for streaming and bluray 1 movie at a time and taking it to approx $22... almost double what i pay now..... you have to be crazy to think that people are going to want to pay that. At best i can watch 8 movies a month with mailing times and finding time during my schedule to stop for 2+ hours. In between i usually stream since dont have cable. Redbox is a dollar a night i can get a movie when i want and can....... bye bye netflix in 51 days and counting.

Guest said:

I told my wife when we recieved netflix dvd service as a gift that after three months we would lose interest in cycling the discs through the mail. Sure enough... (I had already done that with Netflix before we got married.)

Then streaming came available and we used it often for a month, now infrequently. Reason? Content is SAAAADDDDD! I use it more than anyone else because I get a small kick out of watching utterly cheesy movies. Best if they are old science fiction. Until they start rotating hot new releases, the streaming model is never going to generate a profit.

We watched every notable movie released in the last five years (that was available on streaming) in about two weeks. Then we caught up on a few seasons of The Office. Then we made it about halfway through the third season of Battlestar Galactica. Now we have three Blue Ray discs that have been in our home for about two months and I have streamed a couple Godzilla movies in the last several weeks. Not worth $8 to me for that when renewal comes around.

Now, when I have faith to get 90% of new releases when they come out, I'd probably pay $25 or $30 a month for the service. I spend more than that with DirecTV On Demand now.

Guest said:

Hopefully (HOPEFULLY) this means they'll start making more movies available via streaming. It only makes sense for them, makes their overhead costs ridiculously lower with fewer DVDs to purchase. The future is streaming, netflix, just make it happen!

Guest said:

I thought $10 a month for both was too low to last. I'd rather see Netflix survive to expand their offering than go bust by pricing it wrong and going broke.

They have to pay some company each time something gets viewed, probably even for ten minutes.

I have also been thinking that Netflix SHOULD BE talking to the networks and offering special packages. I would pay a premium to get the college basketball season for my team. Netflix is much better positioned to one day offer true on-demand programming than the networks or cable.

They could be streaming exactly what I want to watch and getting paid to do it.

Guest said:

Netflixs streaming content blows the big one. Why people pay for that is beyond me.... I tried it for one month...when it can't keep the interest of my kid I know something is wrong...Sorry netflixs...catch me in 5 years when you cost $40 and have actual good content to watch.

Butch said:

I really like the streaming. I am fortunate to have a very fast, very consistent internet connection Netflix streaming works very well for me but I agree with most here in that the streaming content is seriously lacking. Looks like I'll drop the streaming for now. Between Netflix for movies and Amazon for everything else I'll never need to leave the house!

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I currently pay $11.99 for 1 dvd/bluray at a time and streaming. Its going to go up to $17.98 for me according to the email I got. I'm on a pretty tight budget at the moment so by September I plan on dropping the DVD/Bluray, that will decrease my bill to $7.99. Right now I don't think I can even get 10 movies a month with shipping times (17.98-7.99) which is what I'd spend at Redbox for 10 movies.

While we are complaining. My Sony Bluray player will stream netflix, but it doesn't adjust the speed if my bandwidth goes up or down. Most of the time this isn't a big deal because my connection is typically pretty solid. But occasionally it will detect lower than what I could average and then as a result I get some pretty poor looking video. If this happens on a computer, when my speed goes back up I get adjusted, but on the bluray player I'm stuck with horrible quality unless I stop it and then back out and resume.

Mizzou Mizzou said:

The choices current Netflix users make regarding DVD versus streaming (or both) will influence the direction Netflix takes in the near future. Since I'd like to see optical media stick around for a while longer I simply cast my vote in favor of the DVD.

Renrew Renrew said:

I'd love streaming if the content was the same as their mailed DVDs. It would save them money in the long run. Paying $7.99 for each service is just too expensive. Bye Netflix

mishmosh said:

Until streaming catalog is decent and quality approaches HD, I will stick to the 1-at-a-time DVD membership.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

mishmosh - I have a 6Mbps down connection, and a lot of the content I watch looks pretty damn good on my 46" tv. Sure its not quite as good at Bluray, but it also isn't taking 25-50 gigs of download to play either.

Guest said:

I'm seen estimates of Netflix streaming expenses for 2012 and unless the studios are all dramatically raising their prices beyond reason, more studios will be added.

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Very disappointed in the direction Netflix is going here. I knew it was inevitable that prices were going up, especially since studios are putting a lot more pressure on Netflix for licenses. But this is just nonsense, the best plan they have is being doubled with absolutely no middle ground and they have the galls to try and spin this as a positive. As much as I want to rely on streaming only, the selection as already pointed out still needs work. On top of the fact that shows due to their licenses aren't completely available or end early which adds to the annoyance. I hope they come up with a solution before September first or I personally will be looking at alternatives.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Very disappointed in the direction Netflix is going here. I knew it was inevitable that prices were going up, especially since studios are putting a lot more pressure on Netflix for licenses. But this is just nonsense, the best plan they have is being doubled with absolutely no middle ground and they have the galls to try and spin this as a positive.
How exactly would you suggest they spin this...?
They don't As much as I want to rely on streaming only, the selection as already pointed out still needs work.
Well, as I've been pointing out continually in these streaming versus tangible media threads, that as soon as they get you hooked on streaming, they'll raise the price. Then your IP will cap your bandwidth. In porn, that's what they call a "DP"
On top of the fact that shows due to their licenses aren't completely available or end early which adds to the annoyance. I hope they come up with a solution before September first or I personally will be looking at alternatives.
Like what, "Blocbuster Online"? BTW, good luck with that personal crusade.

That said, a "Redbox" kiosk, looks like the best windmill ever. At least to this Don Quixote...

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