Netflix introduces a $7.99 streaming-only plan

Consumer Reports News: November 22, 2010 01:10 PM

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The options for streaming video sources grow by one more today: Netflix introduced a streaming-only plan, allowing the DVD rental service to remain competitive with the likes of Hulu, Apple Itunes, and Amazon's video-on-demand.

The $7.99-per-month plan allows anyone with a PC or other Netflix-compatible device—such as Web-enabled HDTVs, Blu-ray players and videogame consoles—unlimited access to Netflix's "Watch Instantly" library. Previously, only subscribers with an active Netflix DVD rental plan could stream videos from the company's Web site.

Jessie Becker, vice president of marketing at Netflix, said in a company blog post announcing the new plan: "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."

zznot all of Netflix’s library of thousands of DVD titles are available for instant viewing, though. And to help boost its download library, Netflix also announced rate hikes for its various unlimited DVDs-by-mail plans.

Its cheapest plans, which allow subscribers to have one or two DVDs out at a time, will increase by a dollar—now $10 and $15 per month, respectively. Its priciest plan—8 DVDs out at a time—will jump by $8, to $56 per month.

"The price increase will allow us to continue to offer the popular plan choice of unlimited TV episodes and movies streaming instantly along with unlimited DVDs," said Becker in the company blog.

The new DVD price plans are effective today for new subscribers, but current Netflix subscribers won’t see the price hikes until January.

A new plan for watching instantly, plus price changes to existing unlimited plans [Netflix blog]

—Paul Eng

Paul Eng

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