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Netflix Eying Streaming Only Membership Plan In The United States

by Sean P. Aune | September 24, 2010September 24, 2010 12:00 pm PDT

Okay, so maybe Netflix had to make a huge sound bite blunder for the subject to come up, but apparently the company is looking into letting Americans have a subscription plan that is streaming only and does not come with any DVD rentals by mail.

The other day Netflix finally launched in Canada, and one of the quickest things that was noticeable was that it cost $7.99 Canadian, and was for streaming service only.  In the United States the cheapest plan is $8.99 and comes with one DVD at a time via mail.  Personally, I have no use for the DVD, so I have been clamoring for a streaming only subscription.

Netflix App iconThe Hollywood Reporter Asked Netflix CEO Reed Hastings about this situation:

THR: Are you concerned that American Netflix subscribers will look north and ask for the same discount Canadians get at $7.99?

Hastings: How much has it been your experience that Americans follow what happens in the world? It’s something we’ll monitor, but Americans are somewhat self-absorbed.

Oh, that wasn’t very bright.

Mr. Hastings took to the Netflix blog to issue an apology.

My Big American Foot is in my mouth. Yesterday, I made an awkward joke with a reporter in Toronto about Americans (like me) being self-absorbed relative to Netflix pricing in Canada. I was wrong to have made the joke, and I do not believe that one of the most philanthropically-minded nations in the world (America) is self-absorbed or full of self-absorbed people. The pricing Netflix is offering in Canada, $7.99 per month, does not include any DVD-by-mail option, and that is why it is cheaper than our $8.99 USA plan which has both DVD-by-mail and streaming in one plan. We are looking at adding a streaming-only option for the USA over the coming months. My apologies to anyone offended by my self-absorbed comment. Sincerely, -Reed

Well, at least he apologized, but I’d be a lot happier if he just gave us that new subscription plan.

What say you? Do you accept Mr. Hastings’ apology? Do you want a streaming only subscription?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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