I’m a huge fan of Netflix, as I’ve written here before. That’s why I was very interested, and kind of sad, when they announced (PDF) their price hike in July. Starting this month, those who have been enjoying one DVD at a time plus unlimited streaming online for only $7.99 will have to pay twice that to maintain both options. Your alternative is to choose one or the other, and continue to pay $7.99 while losing the other service.
Engadget posted this PDF from Netflix Investor Relations this morning, writing about how Netflix will see 800,000 fewer DVD-only subscribers than they previously predicted. Streaming-only subscribers will also increase by fewer than Netflix predicted in July. For some reason, though, the number of users expected to pay the doubled price for both DVDs and steaming remained steady at twelve million. Engadget’s Richard Lawler pointed out that it’s weird Netflix would backtrack so much on DVD-only numbers, since most people complain about a dearth of streaming content.
Maybe the apparent discrepancy is attributable to a convenience factor. After all, if I can only afford one plan or the other at $7.99 per month, why not sign up for the one I can use anywhere? I don’t want to pay for a DVD plan that requires me to be at home to get the next item in my queue.
That’s why I’m cancelling DVDs and sticking with streaming. Yes, the selection is not what I would like it to be. But comparing the cost of how much I watch on Netflix with the potential cost of a la carte rentals makes whining about the selection a moot point. I don’t have trouble finding stuff I really want to watch streaming on Netflix. If I ever do, I’ll consider switching to DVD-only.
Netflix is a month-to-month service, meaning that you can change plans for a month or two and switch back later if you want. They may want to highlight that fact as a feature, since some of those disenchanted by the change in pricing plans may stick around if they know they can bounce back and forth from month to month.
Image via Netflix Investor Relations.