Netflix price hike an attempt to move further away from DVDs

Those tap-tap-tap noises you hear are DVD coffin nails. Netflix is trying like mad to get out of the DVD business.


Peter Kafka of All Things D nails it:

Even though the majority of Netflix’s 24 million subscribers are still paying it to get DVDs by mail, Reed Hastings and company see themselves as Internet guys, not putting-discs-in-envelopes guys.

Now they’re making it even more clear, by raising the prices in a way that makes it much more expensive to get both Web streaming and DVDs from the service.


Netflix explains the rationale for the price hike in a blog post, but the short version is that it would like its DVD customers to move to the Web, or pay up. Doing so helps it cut down on discs costs and/or generate more money to help buy digital titles, which are only going to get more expensive.

Are you willing to ditch DVDs? Have you moved away from them already?

  • Amy G

    Just got my netflix email last night about the price increase-the second in a year at least. What’s funny about reading this is I was ready to cancel the streaming part, not the dvds. They have so much less available online, it’s really not worth it unless you like watching old tv shows. Hmmm….is Blockbuster still running?

  • Karine

    I have been watching Netflix streaming non-stop. I do get a little frustrated with the older titles available on streaming, but then again I’m watching movies that I would probably never have rented such as Smokey and the Bandit. Overall, my hope is that Netflix either goes completely digital with true new releases or they shape up their DVD selection to have the new releases available the same time they’re available for sale in stores.

  • John P.

    Netflix does not seem to have any new releases on the streaming service. I have seen about as many old movies as I care to see. By discouraging DVD rentals, Netflix is discouraging me from keeping my subscription.

  • Tyler

    From what I’ve heard, Netflix is internally separating the disc operations from the streaming options. Via CNNPachter predicts Netflix’s streaming content licensing costs will rise from $180 million in 2010 to a whopping $1.98 billion in 2012.

    Seems to me that Netflix is doing the opposite – they’re preparing to divest streaming if they don’t get enough revenue.

    I’d be interested in finding out how much impact Redbox and other DVD kiosks have had on Netflix. It surprises me that Netflix didn’t flat-out BUY Redbox.

  • Tim Agen

    They want me to stop getting discs so they can spend more on streaming library. I want to continue getting discs because they’re not in the streaming library.

    It would have been nice if they had coupled the price change with an “everything streams” annc. I’d drop discs for that.

  • Robert

    I’m very frustrated. Like most people, I feel like the streaming selection is poor, with some exceptions. They have built up a decent TV streaming section, which I have used.

    But I’m also frustrated with the price hike of DVDs alone. $8 a month, and able to only get a maximum of 8 DVDs a month, means that it’s $1/DVD. Same cost as Redbox. Question becomes, is Netflix more convenient than Redbox? For now, maybe, but I’m generally not pleased with a company that I had heralded to my friends as one of the best customer service and values.

  • Freealonzo

    I’d be willing to ditch DVDs for streaming if they had the selection. As mentioned above and in comments elsewhere, the reason people still order DVDs is because the streaming selection, in a word, sucks! (Sorry Karine Smoky and the Bandit movies just don’t cut it for me)

    I understand that netflix would if it could offer more movies for streaming but rights and payments are getting in the way. It seems like Hollywood has not learned the lessons the music industry learned the hard way over the past 10 years. It’s actually quite easily to illegally download movies (although not as easy as music). If Hollywood and Netflex et. al don’t watch out, they will follow the footsteps of the music industry with sales a fraction of what they were 10 years ago.

  • Tim Agen

    “Filed under: Crime and Justice” — hehe.

  • Noelle

    I got my email last night too…We probably use the DVD service marginally more than the streaming, but I have a backlog of documentaries that I like being able to stream when nothing’s on TV. I’m disappointed they don’t have a discounted price for choosing both options.

    Between this and my Comcast bill skyrocketing recently, I’m about ready to dump TV altogether and switch to books.

  • Joe Movie

    We are Netflix customers (both services) I hadn’t heard about the price hike yet- we like streaming, but there’s a lot of stuff that you can’t stream, yet. I guess we will have to start getting dvds for free from the public library.

  • Gardengurl

    Upon receiving their email yesterday I immediately switched to the DVD-only plan. My local library has tons of older DVD’s, and they’re free. I can easily live without paying for streaming.

  • Annie

    Got my email last night, too. A 60% increase for what I don’t use all that often anyway is NOT worth it. I liked having both options – streaming and DVDs – because of the flexibility. Streaming is more convenient but the selection is really poor. You almost have to surf through just to find something you *might* want to watch. Forget about searching for a specific movie, whether new or older. And the DVD option is great but again, NOT worth 8 bucks a month when I might only watch one or two. On the other hand, Redbox selection is pretty slim, which is why I like the Netflix DVD option, even if it’s overpriced for the frequency I use it. Why does it seem like I have fewer options than 25 years ago for watching (specific, chosen)movies at home???

  • SarahH

    I’m ambivalent and will likely choose streaming since I can Redbox any movies I want to see.

    What REALLY bothers me is their inability to provide closed captioning on many devices that stream Netflix. That’s got to be a violation of ADA!!! It’s ridiculous.

  • Jamison

    I’m also hoping that this pushes the studios to allowing more streaming. I like the streaming option, and elected to ditch the DVD service, but I want more depth in their online collection.

  • Chris Oinonen Ehren

    Mailing all those DVDs takes petrochemicals & power. Making all those DVDs causes petrochemicals and power. Ultimately I’d like to see movie delivery go entirely digital. Weaning people from the discs is going to be hard, though, and weaning the companies from the discs is going to be hard, too. Plus digital transmission takes bandwith, and if everybody (absolutely everybody) does all their movies by netflix or blockbuster or whatever streaming the bandwith will be huge (the proportion of comcast’s total is already quite large and will get larger) but if we’re going to be putting money and materials into something, I’d rather see it going into infrastructure and capacity, rather than into millions of individual little plastic discs and CO2. I have no commercial interest in comcast or netflix, just a green consumer.

  • Sternheads

    We have been Netflix customers since 2004. Prices have gone up (when there was no competition) and prices have gone down (Blockbuster going online, Rebox being introduced).

    We used to have 3-at-a-time, but dropped it to 2-at-a-time a few months ago when we bought a laptop and streaming became an option. With the new pricing, we plan to drop to 1-at-a-time next month before the price change.

    I agree with other posts. I would be happy to stream more, but am disappointed by the titles available. I have yet to find a DVD available for streaming when I search for a particular title I am in the mood to watch at that time.

    We will learn to ‘get by’ with the 1-at-a-time and the slim selection of streaming, but I feel that if Netflix doesn’t step up their game to match the new prices, they will find a lot of customers with discover that Netflix is no longer the great deal it used to be.

  • pj

    Cancel – turn off the tv or game console and do something useful.

  • bsimon

    We’ve been on streaming-only for a couple months. I’ve had movies removed from my streaming queue that have apparently gone offline; if I had the disc service, I could order them, but could no longer stream them.

    My credit card expired & I suspect I won’t give Netflix the new one. Even at only $7/month, its not adding to my life.

  • TheMole179

    I would be perfectly happy to ditch the DVDs, but Netflix needs to expand their inventory of streaming title much more rapidly, especially with new, or newer, releases.

  • Alison Colling

    I would gladly cancel the DVDs by mail, but all newer shows and movies are only available on DVD.

  • Steve

    I subscribe specifically because I can get both. The online streaming selection is too limited to give me the movies I want without being able to also have the ability to get the discs which are not offered thru the streaming service.

    I will probably drop the streaming service and go with only the dvd mailing service in Sept when they impose this on us…

    Very disappointed in Netflix…

  • Nicole

    The problem with dropping the DVD plan is what is available on only DVD or “Disc – Only” episodes that are not streaming. Netflix needs to update their streaming catalog and make sure it stays up to date, because right now it isn’t great.

  • Tonyia

    This probably doesn’t affect the majority of Minnesotans, but we live in a rural area with no broadband availability. (Yes, and we’re only three miles from town in Dakota county.)

    Our choices are dial up and satellite. Wireless signal is not reliable at our address.

    We have satellite. We pay quite a lot for a limited amount of bandwidth. Streaming gobbles up our bandwidth.

    We’re sticking with DVDs.