Upcoming Netflix family plan allows four simultaneous streams

By on April 23, 2013, 7:00 AM

Netflix recently announced some new family-oriented changes to the streaming service. In a quarterly letter to shareholders, CEO Reed Hastings and CFO David Wells noted the company intended to launch a new family plan that would allow up to four simultaneous streams for just $11.99 per month.

The plan will likely solve the conundrum affecting a number of families nationwide – who gets to use the service at any given time (or letting your buddies “borrow” your account credentials). The existing $7.99 plan only allows for two streams at the same time. With four simultaneous streams possible as part of the new plan, the only issue likely to arise is a lack of bandwidth with four concurrent streams on the same Internet connection.

Interestingly enough, Netflix anticipates that only one percent of existing customers will take advantage of the upcoming plan. It would seem that Netflix is pretty confident that the vast majority of their members are perfectly happy with the two stream limitation. Of course it’s also entirely possible that Netflix is hoping the family plan will lure new customers that have been weary of commitment due to existing limitations.

It’s not entirely clear when Netflix will roll out the new family plan but we do know it will be limited to the US when it does arrive. It’ll be interesting to see if other streaming media players like Hulu Plus follow in Netflix’s footsteps. At current, Hulu Plus allows for just one stream at a time.




User Comments: 10

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tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

No thanks, but I am happy with the service staying at the current $7.99 (really $8.54) streaming to all my devices is okay don't need to stream more than 2 at a time.

Also a side note: Hulu Plus service is full of commercial that are thrown into your monthly account and on your viewing screen. Never again will I use that service.

Vilandra Vilandra said:

Yeah, I guess families might want to be able to watch different things at once, but not worth it to me.

And thank you! I don't understand why anyone would pay for Hulu Plus. I used it for the 6 month free trial and watched a few things but nothing that really wasn't already available on the network's website. I'm not paying someone to show me commercials on principle lol. Is Hulu Plus the one that doesn't let you fast forward through the show? That might be Comcast On-Demand.

Guest said:

Comcast doesn't allow you to fast-forward, at least not right away. After a set amount of time (it may be a week or so), you can fast-forward.

I'm giving Hulu Plus a trial right now and I really don't see what people like about it. Compared to Amazon Prime Instant Video, it lacks a lot in the movie department. It seems to have a lot of TV shows, but any one individual doesn't really watch more than 2 or 3 shows religiously.

About Netflix; if you're allowed 4 streams, isn't this like taking the bandwidth and multiplying by 4? With a bandwidth cap of 250GB, it seems like you would hit the wall pretty quickly. Can anyone comment on this? Thanks.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

This could be handy for the scattered family situation... Like people in travel situations, or kids off in college, etc. And all of those mobile methods for accessing your Netflix account, you can run into traffic jams quickly.

I'd be surprised if only 1% of existing customers end up using it, once people start seeing the benefits. As for luring in new customers, I'd wager that a good portion of those new people are drawn in by the ability to game the system - like 4 friends go in together, and they all get Netflix for 3 bucks a month each.

gamoniac said:

This could be handy for the scattered family situation... Like people in travel situations, or kids off in college, etc. And all of those mobile methods for accessing your Netflix account, you can run into traffic jams quickly.

I'd be surprised if only 1% of existing customers end up using it, once people start seeing the benefits. As for luring in new customers, I'd wager that a good portion of those new people are drawn in by the ability to game the system - like 4 friends go in together, and they all get Netflix for 3 bucks a month each.

I agree and think that more than 1% of people will join this 4-stream program. As far as people who try to save $3-$4 a month by sharing their credential with friends (at the loss of privacy), I think they have a bigger financial problem to solve... Netflix probably sees this as a small, negligible loss.

treetops treetops said:

Every time I tried to use the 2 stream it has not worked huh.

tw0rld tw0rld said:

No thanks, but I am happy with the service staying at the current $7.99 (really $8.54) streaming to all my devices is okay don't need to stream more than 2 at a time.

Also a side note: Hulu Plus service is full of commercial that are thrown into your monthly account and on your viewing screen. Never again will I use that service.

Tried Hulu Plus for a week then got rid of it. It is not worth it.Hint Hulu I am paying for the service in order not to get ads. Also Hulu has no movies and there Roku app sux!

Timonius Timonius said:

Last time I used Netflix, I had to cancel it due to lack of family friendly features. Multiple streams was not the issue...

Guest said:

Not going back to Netflix, no matter what.

treetops treetops said:

Oh yeah! The original series made by netflix hemlock grove is actually pretty good. I like netflix I don't think you can spend 8$ on entertainment more wisely. But then again I have never tried hulu+, I tried the free version and hated the navigation system.

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