Netflix revealed a new pricing plan that screws DVD-philes out of $7.99 per month. Currently, if you wanted unlimited DVDs and streaming, you paid $9.99. Now, if you would like to receive the occasional mail-order picks and also stream movies, you'll have to buy into two separate plans: $7.99 for DVDs and a another $7.99 for just their online offerings.
The company explains to customers that $7.99 is less then $9.99, meaning you're saving big, "These plans offer our lowest prices ever for unlimited DVDs--only $7.99 a month for our 1 DVD out at-a-time plan ... By offering our lowest prices ever, we hope to provide great value to our current and future DVDs by mail members." Note the emphasis on savings.
But, in reality, if you'd like to keep your Netflix status quo, you're going to have to pay for both plans at $15.98, which is a 60 percent price increase. Netflix justifies this price hike this way:
We have realized that there is still a very large continuing demand for DVDs both from our existing members as well as non-members. Given the long life we think DVDs by mail will have, treating DVDs as a $2 add on to our unlimited streaming plan neither makes great financial sense nor satisfies people who just want DVDs.
It might seem like a no-brainer to go all streaming--save money and trees--but Netflix only has 20,000 offerings in its digital catalog, while it has over 200,000 DVDs. To save, you could give up the DVD aspect of the experience and brush up on your obscure foreign dramas with a strong female lead online. Or you could pay up.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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