Netflix Confirms That Streaming is the Future By Making DVD Rentals More Expensive

Netflix Confirms That Streaming is the Future By Making DVD Rentals More Expensive

Netflix has introduced a new pricing structure that doesn’t bode well for those that still watch DVDs. Instead of the very reasonable price of $9.99 for unlimited DVDs and streaming content, you’ll now have to pay a nearly doubled price of $15.98/month for the same package.


Customers that are on the streaming only plan won’t be affected by this price change.
Netflix is introducing DVD-only plans,

“First, we are launching new DVD only plans. These plans offer our lowest prices ever for unlimited DVDs – only $7.99 a month for our 1 DVD out at-a-time plan and $11.99 a month for our 2 DVDs out at-a-time plan.”

So, basically, you can now have a 2 DVDs/month plan for the same price as the formerly unlimited streaming/DVDs plan. Doesn’t really sound like a fair trade, does it?

“Second, we are separating unlimited DVDs by mail and unlimited streaming into separate plans to better reflect the costs of each and to give our members a choice: a streaming only plan, a DVD only plan or the option to subscribe to both. With this change, we will no longer offer a plan that includes both unlimited streaming and DVDs by mail.”

Part of Netflix’s initial appeal was that it was cheaper than cable to have unlimited streaming and DVD rentals. With this price change, Netflix gets closer to the basic cable bill that many people left for Netflix a long time ago.

The new plans go as follows:

“Plan 1: Unlimited Streaming (no DVDs) for $7.99 a month
Plan 2: 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). For new members, these changes are effective immediately; for existing members, the new pricing will start for charges on or after September 1, 2011.”

Netflix sees the DVD rental business as something worthy of its own pricing structure. So, instead of a $2 add on, DVDs will become just as (and more) expensive as streaming.

Bad move, Netflix? What do you think? Does this affect you, or have you switched over to streaming only anyway? Let us know in the comments.

  • bay_estrian

    unfortunately the titles they offer for streaming are garbage, for the most part.

  • Rob Sammons

    https://www.lovefilm.com/signu…, go compare the options to here in the UK, don’t realise how lucky they are. We don’t even have anything that should be called streaming.

  • Ed Gish

    I would love the streaming only plan, but the movies on streaming are not the same offerings as the DVD plan. If they were the same movies offered on both… no problem.

  • terez07

    I think Netflix’s price change for dvd-only plans is a little premature.  Many people still have dvd/blu-ray players.  With this price increase, Netflix may make their competitor, Redbox, appear to be an even more attractive alternative.

  • Daniel McConnaughy

    I for one think this is ridiculous and I will cancel my account at the end of this month.  The initial appeal to Netflix for my family was the advantage of the streaming video along with the DVD’s.  My sons and i like to watch older TV series from beginning to end and with streaming we are able to do that without the delay of waiting for our next DVD to arrive in the mail.  In that regard I will miss the streaming convenience of Netflix.  

    The EXTREMELY limited selection of titles available for streaming make it laughable that they think that is a service worthy of a charge in and of itself.  UBER mistake on their part as I think most people will dump them and find other alternatives.  Hand-in-hand the Netflix package as it was for $9.99 a month was a great bargain, but as a seperate service neither of them are worthy of a $7.99 price tag.  With the old rate plan the lack of titles available for streaming was offset by the fact that new release titles were available if only through the mail on DVD.  And vice versa if you had a movie fix and needed instant satisfaction and were not concerned with new releases only then there are options available via streaming so you can have that instant gratification and not wait a day for a title in the mail……it WAS a great system!  Now with the splitting of these two features Netflix has proven what ALL major companies prove sooner or later…..the bottom line is more important than the satisfaction of their customers……PERIOD!  

    Shame on you Netflix……we as the consumer will get the last laugh for when your next quarter revenue drops 15%or more due to this most egregious error in judgement I have a feeling the “old/current” rate plan will resurface!

  • Jim Eubanks

    I guess I’d better hurry and catch up on the TV series I’ve been streaming, so I can drop the streaming and continue renting movie DVDs in September. My cable, power, etc. are all increasing, but not my pay. So, I can’t justify paying double for Netflix.

  • Rxcketeer

    so why the fuck wont they make it a streaming service only and add new releases smfh

  • Sean Murphy

    bullshit move netflix!

  • zagatosz

    I have been with Netflix since the beginning and have thought it was a great company and this latest move has greed written all over it. Costs have not doubled in handling and shipping DVDs so this shows you how much they value their customers. DVD rentals is what makes netflix , the streaming is a nice bonus at this pricing why not go to Blockbuster same price, you can rent on line and go to the store for the same price. If Blockbuster is smart this gives them an opportunity to get back in the game.

  • _C4LE

    it affects me and i dont like it. but i’m gonna watch the last few movies i have in my dvd queue and then switch to streaming only. and if i want to see something right away i’ll go to redbox and if it’s an older movie i’ll probably just buy it. i wonder how long it’ll take them to change it back to both for 9.99, cause this is a bad business decision.

  • John Ramirez

    ridiculous, what are you thinking Netflix? if streaming had all titles like DVD service this would be a non-issue.

  • JRG1392

    I can’t afford to get both, I probably use the streaming more than the DVD’s but there’s not enough content on streaming to justify paying for just that. I don’t care about the DVD’s enough to pay for that either. Bad Move!

  • Larry Hart

    If you have Netflix and have a subscription that includes DVDs and streaming, your pricing will almost double stating Sept. 1. Like the attached link and add a comment telling Netflix how you feel. Spread the word to other friends and reshare this link.http://http://www.facebook.com/pages/I-will-...

  • kavok

    If Netflix converts their entire DVD catalog to streaming, then fine.  Otherwise it’s just greed and now I have to seriously consider alternatives.  How long before they increase rates yet again?

  • GregsTechBlog

    If they’ve done anything, it’s show me that Netflix is not the future. 
    The streaming sucks and the dvds take 2 days to arrive.
    I may keep my streaming around for a while, but it’s just a stop on the way to fully canceling my service.
    Way to go Netflix. 

  • Tash Wahid

    Exactly. Which is why if itunes ever gets a streaming plan. Bye Bye netflix.

  • DrM47145

    THEY SHOULD NOT TOUCH EXISTING CUSTOMERS.

    BAD MOVE, NETFLIX! Bad squishy!

  • Michael Natale

    This is a bad idea that just stinks of corporate greed. 

    Netflix is taking the service I pay for now (streaming + DVDs) and splitting it into two separate services, almost doubling my fees every month.  How on earth is that “terrific value” for the customer?

    Now if the Streaming catalog were to be updated to offer everything in the DVD catalog, then this move makes sense for the customer AND Netflix.  Moving everything to streaming and forcing users who want physical discs to pay extra makes perfect sense.  But I don’t see anything here indicating that.   While I don’t believe the current Streaming catalog is crap as others seem to, I do think that there is PLENTY of room for updating what’s available there.

    I don’t begrudge Netflix trying to make money – its a business in the end.  But why on earth would I pay 2x what I am now with no added benefit to me?  If you want to charge me 2x and give me the full Netflix catalog via streaming then I’ll happily pay the extra fee (and consider it a deal).

    As it stands now though, I’ll dump the DVD portion to avoid paying twice for nothing extra, and Netflix actually loses a couple of bucks from me.  That’s “Terrific Value”, isn’t it?

    REDBOX machines are literally EVERYWHERE in my town at places my wife and kids go all the time.  Seems like Netflix would be better served trying to entice customers to continue using this service rather than a competitor like Redbox which somehow has figured out a way to make DVD rentals even more convenient and inexpensive than Netflix, but what do I know. 

    I’m just the customer.

  • Greg

    I can’t tell you how much this pissed me off when I received this email today.  I get one DVD out at a time, and unlimited streaming… now that’s going to cost me 15.99?  It’s not that I can’t afford it, it’s simply just not worth that.  I’ll be visiting redbox much more frequently now, as soon as I finish dexter and Lost ha.  Also, this comes into effect Sept 1, so we still get another month.

    also important to note…this is the second price jump in a relatively short period of time.. (2 or 3 months)  Thats really worth mentioning I think.

  • RaycerXray

    Stupid move Netflix. If you’re streaming offerings were the same as what’s on DVD then you could separate the plans, but they’re not. It’s time I look at another alternative.

  • Matt Johnson

    Maybe they should make a better effort in providing more Movies and TV Shows for stream. 

  • Nick Tester

    this is not the future when their steaming content is way too old, or titles I never knew existed, Oh yea and where is all the HD streaming?

  • Sean Brassman

    I have the 3 at a time unlimited plan for $19.99. I’m very happy that now I’ll be paying $15.99 for DVD’s only. I only occasionally stream stuff to my laptop. I watch DVDs on my 32″ TV all the time.

    I’m happy.

  • betaboy78

    Ridiculous Netflix!  Over the last 4 years, you have found ways to continue to raise my prices.  

    - Randomly raising prices a bit
    - A ‘blu-ray’ fee
    - another price increase
    - etc

    Now, you want to raise prices again?  Not gonna happen.  I think I will just downgrade to the streaming only for $8 (where I was paying $24, soon to be $28) and just rent movies occasionally on my AppleTV for new releases.  Heck, for the same $8 I can switch to Hulu (I mostly use streaming for old TV shows anyway) and not have to support your business at all. 

    I can’t believe you are making this HUGE mistake with your loyal customers.  Why not just ‘grandfather’ us in and use the new structure for people who change their plans or are new to Netflix?

  • Leo Parascondola

    The price increase announced by Netflix completely negates my reasons for subbing – affordable access to both DVDs and streaming. My viewing interests are connected to my teaching at a NJ university. I regularly use DVDs in my classes. I would stream, but most of the films I will use are UNAVAILABLE via streaming. The two new plans – DVDs or streaming – are NOT equivlents.

  • ziggyg

    I don’t get people saying that prices will double. We have, and have had for about two yeras, the 2 DVD plan and that comes with all the streaming I want to do. We pay $15.89 and in Sept., if I read right my plan will go up to 19.99 a difference  of 4.10.
    i don’t like it but it is better than running to a RedBox that many times has people standing in line and when I get to the machine find that what I want is not there, then I have to look for something else that I think I will like and feel rushed because the line is growing impatient behind me. And, the closest RedBox and other outlets is not conveniently close so the gas does not justify it even if it is a buck. AND sometimes I get a disc home only to find out that it is so screwed up that I can’t play it. There goes that planned evening!
    I know that there are a lot of duds on the streaming offer but there are many educational, what I am most interested in, available and you have to admit if you are not picky there is more movies there than you will ever be able to watch.
    Like I said, I am not happy about it and if it goes up in price again before I think a raise is justified I am outta there!
    I came to this site by accident in my search to find information on the predicted future of Netflix as I had now had enough money to buy 20 shares but I will have to wait awhile and see what this does to the stock.
    In the end, it is nowhere the price of my cable bill and I am thinking about dropping that due to all the reality crap that is on and I can get news from the paper There really is not shit on TV anymore! I watch old Raymond, King of Queens, Frasier and Friends re-runs and then later in the evening I watch the disc that came in the mail or go to the streaming.
    So for now, most of you are pissed and may drop it but after a couple of days of the inconvenience of going for the alternative and unless something new hits the market that is just as good and cheaper you’ll be back! C’mon, keep it – I want to buy that stock!

  • davu

    I recently cancelled Netflix and with Redbox going with mobile/online reservations. I never felt better.

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  • Natedogg86

    I believe if your with the right company that going in the right direction streaming should not drive up prices because if you think about it your cutting the cost of discs and trading it for content. I have some great news for all of you that enjoy streaming or like discs as well. As of 10/1 all DISH Network customers will have the option to
    get Blockbuster movies pass which allows customers to
    get games on a disc like PS3, XBOX360, and Wii. Blu-ray rentals and DVD’s are included with this and Blockbuster get new release movies 28 days before Netflix does. They will be
    to rent one disc at a time with over 100,000 titles to choose from by mail plus
    streaming movies as well! You can stream 3,000 movies to your TV 4,000 movies
    to your PC. Working for DISH Network I can say that for existing customers this
    will be as simple as adding Dish Platinum for $10/mo and you can watch over 20
    premium movie channels. New customers get 3 months free of Blockbuster by mail
    plus 12 months free of streaming. Check this link out http://www.dishsupport.com/131….

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath is a senior writer at Cult of Mac and co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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