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Netflix Launches Streaming Only Subscription, Jacks Prices On DVD Plans

by Sean P. Aune | November 22, 2010November 22, 2010 12:00 pm PDT

In what has to be the shortest “test” of a new pricing plan ever, Netflix has launched its streaming-only subscription plan in the United States. Not everything is roses, however, as those who wish to continue receiving DVDs through the mail are going to have to pay a bit more beginning in Jan. for the right.

When Netflix launched in Canada it was as a streaming-only service, which got customers in the United States jealous.  So, in Oct. the company launched a trial of the concept here in the United States, but it was only new customers who got the option, and even then it was random.

Netflix Streaming Only PlanWell, not even a month later, here we are, and the plan is now a reality for everyone in the States, but for those of you who like your DVDs, you’re going to have to pay a bit more. The reason? According to Netflix the majority of their business is now coming from the streaming side of things.

“We are now primarily a streaming video company delivering a wide selection of TV shows and films over the Internet,” said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO.  “Today’s action reflects the tremendous customer value we’ve injected into streaming from Netflix, our initial success with a pure streaming service in Canada for $7.99 a month and what our U.S. members tell us they want.”

The new prices are effective immediately for new customers, and existing customers will see the price hike on their Jan. 2011 plans.  You can read more about the thought process behind these changes on the Netflix blog, but it essentially boils down to, “Streaming is the future for us whether you like it or not.”

For me this is great as I couldn’t tell you the last time I changed out the DVDs in my plan.  Between my Roku Box and my iPad, I’m just always streaming things I want to watch, so $1 a less a month to me is great news.  However, my condolences to those of you who use the DVD service still.  I don’t think any of us expected a price hike to accompany the streaming option becoming a reality.

It’s obvious that this is now going to be what the company concentrates on, but how long until $7.99 a month isn’t enough for it?

What say you?  Are you excited for a streaming-only plan from Netflix?


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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