I have been a long time Netflix subscriber. Long back I started off with 3 dvds at a time for about $20s as that was the cheapest option. As competition heated up, they had to start offering 1-dvd at a time for less than $10. As I was watching too many movies with 3 dvds at a time, I switched to the 1-dvd at a time option. At that time, streaming was still not an option. So, I used to end up getting 5 to 8 dvds a month. Once video streaming started, I still get DVDs but that has reduced now to 3 to 5 a month. If the streamed content is as fresh as the DVDs, I would have completely dropped the DVD option. Similarly, while I watch fewer DVDs, they just sit idle at home (I no longer have to return them soon to get a new DVD since I can watch streamed video anytime). I understand Netflix has it’s costs and financial responsibility to shareholders. However, I think they should have tweaked their existing model differently. For example, limiting number of dvds per month, increasing the video selection for streaming and may be even have a cap on the streamed content for more expensive content. I mean, not all content available streaming is created equal. I am sure they must be getting a lot of content very cheap (old, documentary type, failed movies) and some very expensive. So, they could choose to impose a cap on the expensive streaming content.
Anyway, while I can certainly afford the 60% hike, here is what I think I will do. First, I will subscribe to Amazon Prime at $79 a year. In the past I hesitated on that since I don’t have any purchases that I want within two-days, I usually plan better. But I got a free Amazon Prime membership for about a year through some deal and it’s soon going to expire. Now that I got used to the free-2-day shipping I think $79 a year is worth it. This is no longer a dilemma now for two reasons. First, a few months back Amazon announced that they would provide free on-demand video for their Amazon Prime members. Mind you, the selection is far less than what Netflix has to offer. Second, the 60% hike by Netflix.
So, going forward, I plan to subscribe to Amazon Prime at $79/year and get the free instant streaming and then continue with Netflix but only
with the DVD only subscription. This way, I get both worlds (though not best, but good enough for me) and in a way that makes more financial sense to me the consumer, and not Netflix the company.
I simply can’t understand how Netflix can dare such 60% increase. I think someone in their upper management screwed it up big time. Time will tell what this move means to the company.
Update: After my free Amazon Prime membership expired, I did exactly what I said above. Going forward, my video streaming is from Amazon and DVDs are from Qwikster, err, Netflix.