Poll: How do you feel about Netflix's new pricing?

If you're in the US and you subscribe to Netflix, we'd like to know how you feel about the new pricing they announced yesterday? If you're only into streaming, not much has changed. If you want unlimited DVDs as well, however, you need to cough up an extra $6 a month.

Maybe DVDs are a relic to you, or a bag of hurt, and you haven't watched optical media in years. Or maybe, since Hollywood still can't get their digital release act together, they're a beloved part of your home theater experience.

Or maybe it's not about whether or not you watch or want DVDs, but about how Netflix is treating you as a customer that matters? No doubt shipping all those envelopes around the country is getting more and more expensive, but are you perceiving increased value for the increased costs on your end? Or do you feel like you're being weened off the old era before the new one is really ready to replace it?

Are you peeved enough to take your streaming elsewhere? To get your DVDs from a competitor? Or are you going off DVDs altogether?

Vote up top, and let us know how you really feel -- and what you think Netflix should do about it -- in the comments.

Have something to say about this story? Leave a comment! Need help with something else? Ask in our forums!

Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Poll: How do you feel about Netflix's new pricing?


I wouldn't have minded so much if they had more movies available as on-demand streaming. I'll keep a subscription but for streaming only.

I spoke with the Netflix rep the last time they did a price hike, and he said that they are trying, but to put it in perspective, they would have to charge each customer around $120/mo to allow instant streaming access to all movies as soon as they come out. And that would be if ALL the customers were willing to pay. Being that a boat load of people would abandon ship at that rate, it would force that price to skyrocket, further. That's why the selection sucks, and it takes forever for movies to be released.

Ditto. If they announced they were increasing their streaming library, I'd drop the DVD and keep the streaming. However, right now, their streaming library sucks, so I'm not about to pay up the nose to see movies I've seen 1 million times.

same here. just wished there were more listings. would love more 90's and early 2000's shows, especially old school 90's cartoons (gargoyles, x-men, beavis & butthead, etc.)

The 90's X-Men series and Beavis & Butthead are both available on Netflix streaming now. Not sure about Gargoyles though... Still I understand what you mean

It's completely stupid!! But I only have streaming anyway so it doesn't change how we do movies. If it's not streaming on netflix, we go to redbox

i am downgrading from the 4 DVDs at home plan to the 3 DVDs at home. That way my price increase is only $3 instead of $10. But, i am not happy about it. :(

Netflix has enjoyed an advantageous licensing agreement that addicted both users and themselves. Now they will get the same terms as all the other services. At least they were able to grow during this time. In the end, the studios still control the legal distribution of movies.

Given the limited streaming content that I really want to see, Netflix is no longer value-added.

Whine whine whine whine whine…a bunch of entitled claptrap. While I know I'm fortunate and that my plan will actually GO DOWN in price, I'm dumbfounded this is NEWS…you have seven series of "The Office" and a back-catalog of amazing film BEAMED TO YOUR TV…or your PHONE…I'm sure as physical media dies off (yay) they'll further expand their catalog (yay), it'll just take some time. If people DO actually unsubscribe, it'll slow that progress down. And if they don't unsubscribe, and just bitch? Ugh.
Vote with your wallets, people.

We could just raise the price to $100 per month and make that catalog grow even faster. When the price goes higher and people don't get anything new, they are going to complain.
Why don't we put this into perspective for you. Let's say Apple raised each of their songs to $1.94, a 50% price increase. Would that be OK with you? I know a lot of people who left itunes (music) after the 30% increase.
As the price goes up, less people are willing to pay.
Netflix has to find the equilibrium between price and demand, if they cannot sustain themselves on that amount of money they will ultimately fail.

You know that your example ($100/month) is completely ludicrous and contradictory to what you're saying a few lines below, so, moving on…
I agree they need to find a balance, and the users need to find a balance as well…as my friend Matt (@leviathant) just pointed out on Twitter, "Everyone who's moaning about @netflix being 'expensive' now ought to recall what video rental prices & late fees used to be like." I'm not saying I don't understand why customers are complaining, but I'd wager a pizza and beer that a huge percentage of the bitching comes from people who WON'T DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE ABOUT IT.
And as far as iTunes goes, I'm the wrong person to talk to about the short sighted music biz, money-grabs, and the panic-fueled attempts to rake in some money before the boat sinks. I've seen both sides of that coin, and stand behind CwF+RtB: http://www.techdirt.com/rtb.php

The $100/mo example is not ludicrous, actually, because I spoke with a Netflix rep the last time they did a price hike. He told me that if they were to allow instant streaming for all movies that are available to own, they would have to charge around $120/mo to EACH customer. So TheAndroid1 is ACTUALLY being conservative.

I wasn't saying the cost was ludicrous, but the idea of a (very successful) company shooting themselves in the foot that way…I don't think that's what TheAndroid1 was replying to anyway, but…
Streaming is the future. Period. Apple's doing their best to get onboard, and the only thing crippling stuff like Spotify, Hulu, Netflix, 8tracks, turntable.fm, YouTube, etc are the labels and studios which want to strike a better deal. They don't get it. The old school will be gone soon enough, but until they are, they don't understand why they're not making the same kinds of money and would rather inadvertently encourage piracy than offer an intelligent alternative to it. Not going to make everything they'd make on a stream that they would've made on a DVD or CD sale? That sucks, but innovate and make your content accessible and I guarantee fewer people will resort to theft and MORE people will pay attention.
I'd also bet:
* If Netflix offered a "Gold" pack of some sort wherein you could pay $100/month and get ANYTHING, EVER available to own (which isn't possible, but let's just play hypothetical with what you're saying the rep told you) - many would jump on it, in a heartbeat. Not me, but there are quite a few very large niches wherein I'd bet that'd be considered a bargain. I used to manage a record/DVD store, and we had multiple customers who'd come in weekly and drop well over $100 on just that week's new releases…and that was in a lower-middle-class town in the middle of Vermont.
* The rep you spoke with would probably get his ass canned for hypothesizing with you and/or sharing internal company discussions. Short of Netflix's PR department trying to quell outrage with a pre-fabricated argument that'd make them look like the good guys - i.e. "tell them this so that they feel like they're getting a good deal" - that's the kind of BS they absolutely do not want getting brought up and entering into the internet-rumor-bank.
I'm not trying to bust your balls too bad, here…I'm just disappointed that I saw the music industry destroy itself from the inside, and just when some companies started innovating TV and film, studios are mucking that up for them. AND not getting the heat for it. Netflix is the distribution medium, the studios are the folks who're driving up their costs.

If you are championing the demise of DVD and Blu-ray discs as progress, then I'm all for slowing down progress--for now at least. I have a home theater setup and Netflix streaming is not going to replace the visually stunning and enhanced audio experience I get from Blu-ray. And considering not everyone has the same access to broadband as you and I have, streaming won't be available to many. Add to that data caps that our ISPs are pushing on us, many will have to pay even more. Until decent broadband access is available to everyone at an affordable price, the demise of "physical media" will take a while. I'm not gonna "bitch" about the increase, I'm just gonna drop the streaming. I don't really need it. I get streaming from Xfinity and HBO so I've got other choices. Just my 2¢.

As a home theater owner and a stickler for quality, you are right, there is (for now) an unparalleled positive in being able to go to your shelf and pull down a copy of "Shawshank Redemption" or "The Dark Knight" on BluRay, or watch an old family home recording on DVD…but the physical-media fervor is something that for a lot of reasons I'd love to see die down. Ecologically, financially, and - with shows like "Hoarders" shining the light on packrats - mentally…
I'm not saying I want everything to go digital/streaming only tomorrow, and I know that even if it doesn't happen for 20 years people will complain. I just hate to see things throttling the ramp-up to what makes SO much more sense (on so many levels).
As an aside, like I mentioned in my response to Arin Failing, I used to work at a record store. Over my time there (with my 30-50% discount), I accrued a lot of DVDs and CDs. I sold them/traded them all in a few years back when I was moving, and I miss almost NONE of them. The cost of renting a movie (digitally or otherwise) vs owning it and watching it maybe 2-3 times in as many years? Doesn't even out. AND I don't have a bunch of CRAP all over my apartment. When I jumped to BluRay in 2007, I started being more picky about what I purchased, and I'm much happier for it. I have a pretty large collection, but I know that every title up there is something I want to and will watch again and again and again. I'll want to own copies of that stuff in some capacity FOREVER (and not have to worry about slow internet speeds or service interruption), but I know for myself - comparing then to now - physical media and the money I poured into it wasn't the answer. As technology progresses, that's only going to be be even more true.

I never even considered looking at what else was available before this price hike. If their goal was to prompt me to take a good look at their competition, then mission accomplished!

It's cool... all I have at this point is streaming video, anyway. I found that I was keeping movies for a full month (sometimes two). I wasn't taking full advantage of the mail service, so I dropped it. Now if I want to rent the DVD itself, I just go to redbox, and watch it that night. Cheaper. Easier.

How do I feel about this??
I don't feel anything - it's not something worthy of emoting over. In my opinion, it's a "meh" - as I'm not a Netflix user now, and am not likely to be one any time soon.

You want to increase my monthly fee, then fine. But don't increase my fee and not offer me any new additional features, selection, better streaming quality, etc.
Their business model is no different from a drug dealer. Introduce the masses to a cheaper alternative, drive the competition (Blockbuster & Hollywood Video) out of business, and then jack up the prices.
On the upside, it's still cheaper than cable.

Yes. I'm sure posting unqualified comments on blogs takes up a tremendous amount of your time. Douche.

I feel ripped off -- but if Netflix makes ALL of its content available via streaming instead of just select (and mostly out of date) movies and shows, , then I won't feel so bad about paying $15.98 -- even if it was for ONLY streaming. Perhaps as DVD mailing costs etc continue to burden the company this will happen and it will become largely a streaming service. I gotta have the streaming so I can watch tv on my iPhone 4 while I'm on my treadmill. (I suppose in the end it's cheaper than a gym membership.)

Hey Rene... an old tune comes to mind in describing what this action seems to mean (other than the obvious verse about unbridled greed) - "ALL ready gone.....""

I just contacted the Netflox representative who told me they have had a huge response to their price hike. I explained that we own an Audio Video Business located in Northern NJ and turn a lot of people on to Netflix. It seems that people have heard about their DVD plans because it's been around for many years. When I mention they also have streaming at no extra monthly charge every customer signs up. I really believe most customers enjoy the convience of having newer DVDs and then not having to pay for the older movies on streaming. I have advised Netflix we will be canceling our subscription once September rolls around.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post.
Frederic B. Squires ll
VP Audio Video Specialists, LLC

I dropped NetFlix some time ago. Sometimes considered returning, but now I wouldn't even consider it.

The alternative, Hulu+ is overburdened with ads, the same ads over and over, played before you can even sample a few seconds of a show, and if you get interrupted and have to scrub backwards you're forced to watch the ads AGAIN, and even AFTER you pay $7.99.
This poll shows something huge about people, and it doesn't look good. It's so ironic that geeks seem to have such poor critical thinking skills.

I cancelled this morning. Their streaming catalog was very limited and the wait for new DVD releases was unacceptable. The price after the increase was not outrageous, but it is the principle. If we don't all stand together and cancel now and send a message to Netflix and especially the greedy movie studios, the rates will continue to increase more and more. I just wish Vudu was cheaper (much better quality) and Redbox had more movies...

There streaming selection is terrible...why would you pay for that? I'm poor right now so I'm cancelling but hope to have it in the future when there streaming doesn't blow.

I only use streaming and it's fine. They don't ever get many current shows but I never do the DVD so I'm just fine with it.

It's not Netflix fault. It is the studios. They are stuck in 1990 and think we should pay $3-4 per episode of a half hour show and then be locked down to one device forever.
They are increasing costs to Netflix by 4-5 TIMES as their contracts are coming up. You can read about it in the WSJ and other major news sources. There is nothing Netflix can do right now.
Blame the idiots at the studios. Until their old world business models complete fail they will not embrace the opportunity that is out there for them on the internet.

The shit on their streaming site sucks ass so uh whatever...I hope they get the one life to live episodes from 1987-91 when my gabrielle medina was on there....and can get get dynasty ? geez

Netflix parental controls are worthless to me. They won't let me manage my DVD queue from their iPhone and iPad apps. Their on-demand selection often disappoints me. Those were the negatives I had before the pricing change.
I have no problem with the pricing changes, but it does have me seriously investigating the competition. I might cancel and switch. I might cancel outright. Or I might remain. I don't know yet, but it does have me re-evaluating.

Not worth the $6 extra to keep getting DVD's I watch maybe 2 a month. Gonna cancel the dvd delivery save $2 and keep the streaming. I'll take my dvd rental business to Redbox, where I can reserve the movie and have it the same night for $1.

If you are already subscribing to a package you should be grandfathered in until you decide to change your package!!! I think I will cancel simply because Ihave watch everything worth watching- instantly!!

Im not complaining. Netfix's movie selection sucks. Most movies i watch are retarded and that's why they were not in the movie theaters. But their TV shows are all up to date and that's the only reason why I stay subscribed.
Ps netfix please ditch the m$oft silverlight.
How much does a stamp cost now?

I wouldn't mind at all if they had more movies available to stream. The fact that my DVD queue is a lot longer than my instant queue is a sign that the majority of the movies I want are not yet available. The whole DVD shipping process wastes time and money, it should all be streaming. But based on my viewing habits, they're not even halfway to being able to provide that. So I do feel forced to pay for DVD service because so many of the movies I want are only available that way. But to pay double the cost? No way, I'll just do without, and stream whatever's available.

Good ridden's to optical media. I'm used to digital HD content and have been for a lot longer than the time that type of media consumption became popular on services, such as iTunes, Netflix and Hulu Plus, to name the most popular.
If I had any interest in optical media, it wouldn't be DVD, but Bluray, as that's the quality that I'm used to, i.e. TV shows mostly in 720p and movies 30% in 720p and 70% in 1080p). But since I haven't owned a standalone DVD or Bluray player ever, I'm with Steve Jobs 100% in skipping Bluray altogether in favor of all digital HD content all the time, downloaded and streamed. Although I don't use iTunes for movies, I am very much looking forward to iTunes' implementation of 1080p this fall.
I am also very grateful that even though it's supposed to be "Unibody" construction, my recently acquired MacBook Pro's "Super" (not) Drive is fully removable - and in its place - will go even more space - for digital content. :D

What people have to realize is they are getting a lot of new expenses from movie companies and a price increase is a logical step to ensuring they can stay profitable

I only have streaming, so it doesn't affect me yet. However, seeing as how Netflix is willing to screw those customers who use their DVD service, I have no faith in their business practices. Just wait, they will not stop here.

My husband and I have enjoyed the streaming selection for all of the documentaries and eclectic selections offered. We even find the occasional classic to keep us happy. We've liked the unlimited streaming for the low risk in movie selection and reserved the DVD mailings for the newest releases and most popular flicks. It's disappointing that the price hike is happening. We will be dropping the DVDs. But imagine how the US Postal Service is reacting? I hope NetFlix takes 'em out to dinner first...

Being a Netflix customer since 2007 I wish they would be up front about their intentions. I will be switching to just streaming and rent movies from red box. I think this is were Netflix wants to go; strictly streaming. They are hiking up their prices but not offering anything more or even any reasoning. I mean atleast if they would offer more streaming movies i.e. newer movies.

I quit Netflix. They seem to think the little guy is going to roll over and simply go along with this greedy idea. Today (9/20/11) shows the ultimate result of this business blunder. How does it feel to lose 50% of your stock value Netflix? This was a tragic move in times when most people will dump it if it rises just a few dollars, let alone 60%. I believe most of us who have jumped ship will not return, The door is open to competitors, and there is one out there who will likely get it right. Netflix got it wrong.