Netflix Debuts Streaming-Only, Hikes DVD Rental Plans


LOS GATOS, CALIF. — Netflix is
offering a $7.99-per-month
streaming-only subscription
plan to U.S. customers, while
at the same time it is raising
prices for its DVDs-by-mail
packages by 11% to 18%.

According to Netflix, its
members now watch more
content streamed over the
Internet than via DVDs on
an hourly basis. The rise
in streaming has taken its
toll on broadband networks,
with Netflix accounting for more than 20% of bandwidth usage during
peak times in the U.S., according to a survey by Sandvine.

“We are now primarily a streaming video company delivering a
wide selection of TV shows and films over the Internet,” Netflix
CEO Reed Hastings said in announcing the changes.

Netflix also is boosting the prices for all of its DVDs-by-mail
plans. The starting unlimited plan (one DVD out at a time) will increase
from $8.99 to $9.99; two DVDs out at a time will increase
from $13.99 to $14.99; and the popular three-DVDs-out-at-a-time
tier will increase from $16.99 to $19.99. The price changes take
effect now for new Netflix customers and in January 2011 for existing

The “Watch Now” Internet streaming service is now available
on more than 200 devices, including TiVo DVRs, Roku, Apple TV,
Google TV, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation3, Nintendo Wii,
and many Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray Disc players.