Netflix announced a new pricing scheme today, and if you believe the spin they’re putting on it over at the official Netflix blog, their new packages are the cheapest they’ve ever offered! Except, for the first time ever, you will now need to have multiple packages to keep all of your services. So probably you’re going to be paying a lot more. Oh, bummer.
What they’ve done is split their Instant Watch service and their DVD by mail service into two separate things. Both the Instant service and the one DVD at a time service will cost $7.99, which means you will now need to pay $15.98 a month if you want to continue watching movies both ways. And seeing how Instant Watch is a great feature, but nowhere near comprehensive when it comes to film library, you’re probably going to want to keep watching both ways.
The other reason (in addition to a false sense of savings) Netflix gives for this move is their realization that there are enough customers out there who are only interested in physical media and don’t do streaming to keep their mail business alive longer than they anticipated. Last year, when they announced their first ever streaming-only plan and started treating DVD mailing as a $2 dollar add-on, it seemed like they were taking the first steps toward ending their mail service, which has much higher overhead than streaming for the company. Now it appears that they realize the original model of sending out DVDs is still their bread and butter, and they’re looking for a long-term return on it. The new multiple service structure is going to hit me in the pocket book a bit, for sure, but $15.98 is still a pretty decent price for all of the movies that I have the time to consume in a month. You win this round, Netflix. The new price structure takes place immediately for new subscribers and will start September 1st for existing customers.