As you may have heard, Netflix is going to be increasing its prices while adding a streaming only subscription. You can see the breakdown on the Netflix Blog. This strikes me as incredibly foolish as there is still a shocking lack of quality available on Instant View (not to mention the seemingly arbitrary removals of films from Instant View). I found that my DVD options on my queue are about 3.5 times greater than my Instant View options (I have 381 films on my DVD queue to give you the sample size) and that’s not taking into account the films I won’t watch on Instant View because the visual and audio quality from my Wii aren’t nearly as good as a DVD.
It may be true that the Netflix streaming feature is being used much more than DVDs, but it’s also available 24/7 whereas there is lag time for DVDs. It’s not a fair comparison (admittedly, there probably have metrics much more sophisticated than that, but it’s my blog post so it stays). This new structure also punishes those who watch a ton of movies. The 1 and 2 at a time subscriptions went up $1 in contrast to the 3 at a time subscription, which went up $3. Granted, the Netflix model probably hates those of us who watch a movie a day because they have to spend more money shipping to us as opposed to those who sit on a movie for a month.
Perhaps the biggest misstep is that Netflix hasn’t created a rental plan for people who wish to opt out of streaming. Some people don’t/can’t use it, but these subscribers still have to pay extra because other people can?
Really, it’s not a huge jump and Netflix prices have been static for a while. I just don’t think they handled it in the best way.