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Netflix Testing Streaming Only Subscription In The United States

by Sean P. Aune | October 24, 2010October 24, 2010 8:00 am PDT

Just last week Netflix hinted during its quarterly earnings report that it would be exploring the concept of Watch Instantly-only subscriptions here in the United States. That is to say that it would be a whole new world for the company that built its name on renting DVDs by mail has already said it is beginning to view itself as a streaming company, and now it is definitely moving in that direction.

Before you get too excited however, it isn’t being offered to everyone.

When going to my Netflix account to update my queue, I found the ad you see below.  (click image for a larger view)  As you can see it says that streaming-only will run you $7.99, and the bottom corner shows that if you want to add “unlimited” DVDs by mail it will cost you $9.99 a month.  I couldn’t find any where that it stated how many DVDs you could have out at a time, but my assumption is going to be one at a time.

Netflix streaming subscription ad

Next up is where you get to choose your one month free trial plan.  (click for a larger view)

Netflix streaming plan selection

I didn’t go beyond this point as I didn’t want to sign up for a second account.  I logged into my regular account to see if I could change my plan, but there was nothing to be found about the new option.  I gave customer service a call to see if I was missing something, and I was informed that this offer is showing up randomly, and only for brand new customers.  Existing customers, and returning customers, will not be able to sign up for it unless the company decides to move past this initial test.

One surprising thing out of the phone call was how shocked they seem to be that I was ready to change over to this immediately.  They took my name down and said they would pass it a long, but no word on when we might see it for everyone.

If I was a betting man, I would guess we’ll see this rolled out by Christmas.

What say you?  Interested in going to a streaming only plan?


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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