Reed Hastings

Looks like Netflix is again going back on a controversial decision, but perhaps too late to salvage any customers it might have lost in the first place. Last year, Netflix cut its bread-and-butter plan: the DVD-0nly version that launched the company to begin with. CEO Reed Hastings has made no bones about the fact that he thinks that streaming is the wave of the future and that the DVD arm of their business will steadily decline “forever” until they’re left with nothing but a pile of really expensive coasters while their customers happily consume film after film after television series on Watch Instantly. Yet, despite what Hastings thinks, and despite the popularity of Watch Instantly, cutting DVD-only plans apparently hasn’t worked out for the company, because they’re bringing them back. In a post on the official Netflix blog (via Gizmodo), the company announces that customers can again sign up for a DVD-only plan. The plans start at just $7.99/month, and will include access to  around 100,000 titles on DVD. Upgrades to Blu-ray will cost an additional two dollars per disc. Over at /Film, they note that DVD-only plans never truly went away, but they were not available as a standalone choice when a subscriber first signed up, and it required some silly and complicated rejiggering to get to a DVD-only service. As they note,  “since last year, Netflix has only allowed new customers to sign up for its Watch Instantly service. Once an account had been set up, subscribers had the […]

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There was a brief period where Netflix worked so well that it was like magic. For a small fee you could consume as many movies as you wanted from a gigantic library, through DVDs sent back and forth in the mail between you and the service. Then the company launched their Watch Instantly service, and suddenly you could watch a portion of their library even more easily by streaming them right from the website. At first that was a free option, built right into your subscription, but eventually the pricing structures switched around so that you were paying a bit for both. Not a problem, Netflix was still a near magical service that allowed film enthusiasts, even those who lived in the country and not in cultural epicenters, greater access to more movies than they’ve ever had in their lives. Eventually use of Watch Instantly exploded, it was a hugely popular service that had lower overhead costs than shipping DVDs through mail, Netflix seemed to have two huge cash cows in their hands. But that’s where the problems started.

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published: 12.23.2014
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published: 12.22.2014
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published: 12.19.2014
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