Netflix Offers Streaming-Only Plan, More Expensive DVD Plans

If you log into your Netflix account this morning, you'll probably notice some changes. Or some possible changes at the very least. The company that began as a by-mail DVD rental firm is making a few dramatic changes this morning in reaction to changes in behavior from their consumer base. Jessie Becker, who is Netflix's VP of Marketing, came out with this huge factoid: "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."

Despite the fact that Netflix has only offered streaming for a fraction of the time that they have offered DVDs by mail, consumers are already consuming more content via streaming ("Watch Instantly") than by DVD. That's a pretty wild fact, and it really goes to show how consumers are trending. It also goes to show that we really are moving in a direction of "ditch cable, and just use an antenna for locals and Netflix for everything else."

All of this surrounds two new plan changes. Starting today in America, there's a $7.99/month plan (the new cheapest plan) that allows customers to stream-only. No DVDs by-mail are included in this plan at all. There's such a growing demand for Watch Instantly that Netflix has actually created a cheaper plan just for that. This may encourage new customers to sign up now that they aren't paying extra for DVDs by-mail that they didn't really want to begin with.

Next, the the 1 DVD out at a time and 2 DVDs out at a time plans (Netflix's most popular by-mail DVD plans) are both increasing by $1. Why? According to Jessie: "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." Netflix also rejected the idea of doing a DVD-by-mail only plan that doesn't include streaming. Why? Again, according to Jessie, the trends are showing that more and more people are leaning towards streaming, not DVD rentals.

Any customers who want to change their current plans can do so today by logging into their account.