Netflix officially introduced a streaming-only plan for US subscribers that doesn’t include the company’s now slowing DVD-by-mail rental program. The new $7.99 monthly plan offers instant streaming to a PC or TV, with support through connected TVs, game consoles, and other products that are Netflix-enabled.
Also of note in Netflix’ announcement, streaming and DVD-by-mail subscriptions received varying price increases as Netflix transitions more towards streaming. The $8.99 1 DVD and $13.99 2 DVD rental plans received $1 price increases up to $9.99 and $14.99.
Most readers will only need to pay attention to the first three boxes:
The company’s movie rental plans that range from 3 DVDs up to 8 DVDs out at a time received higher price increases that Netflix outlines on its website.
Current subscribers will receive the price changes in January, but new subscribers will have to pay new prices starting immediately.
The company also clarified why Netflix doesn’t have a DVD-by-mail plan only:
“The fact is that Netflix members are already watching more TV episodes and movies streamed instantly over the Internet than on DVDs, and we expect that trend to continue,” said Jessie Becker, Netflix VP of Marketing, in a blog post. “Creating the best user experience that we can around watching instantly is how we’re spending the vast majority of our time and resources.”
Netflix doesn’t expect to create new rental plans focused on DVDs by mail — but nothing was mentioned regarding Blu-ray movie rentals.
This is a strategic move that was long expected from Netflix, as more consumers are interested in streaming content directly into the living room. Furthermore, working alongside Epix has greatly expanded Netflix’s online movie catalog further, which includes a large catalog of TV episodes and movies.
Netflix announced earlier in the year it would launch in Canada in the fall, with the Canadian market receiving a streaming-only plan. The rumor mill indicated it was only a matter of time before Netflix launched a similar effort in the United States, though company officials didn’t discuss the topic.
The real impact of Netflix’s streaming service can be found throughout the entertainment industry, as streaming content reportedly steals upwards of 20% primetime viewership.
Netflix will continue to add content to its online content catalog, and still needs to work with manufacturers to offer the movie service directly on Web-connected devices.