Dear Netflix

The news first came to me in an Tuesday morning email from my Director of Product, @JasonGBCam:

http://blog.netflix.com/2011/07/netflix-introduces-new-plans-and.html

Well, this is annoying. I may just cancel the disc part of my plan and walk next door to 7-Eleven’s Redbox when I need a physical disc of a current release.

Before I could say “what the live stream?!,” social media had exploded with reaction to Netflix’s decision to change its pricing structure, separating DVD and streaming services and charging for each. Most of that reaction, by the way, was similar to Jason’s view.

Look at the trending topics on Twitter, even a day after the announcement:

Dear Netflix quickly became the new Internet meme, as people started their tweets with #DearNetflix, and followed them with either outrage or support.

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/AugustaGolfGirl/status/91227339463200768″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/pimalibrary/status/91217275771813888″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/tobiasw/status/91227537279164416″]

 The real winner in all of this may be @HBOGO, which took advantage of the hashtag trends and actually bought it!

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/HBOGO/status/91185160501989378″]

And after a while, some other brands started to get creative:

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/HendricksGin/status/91228731116503042″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/FakeeEtiquette/status/91205314178842625″]

[blackbirdpie url=”https://twitter.com/#!/DepressedDarth/status/90976171034017793″]

So what do I think?

Well, I’ve been immersed in Netflix for the last few weeks, since Lucas and I cut cable. I absolutely love it (hello…I stayed up to watch “When In Rome,” which I do not recommend), and prefer it even to Hulu Plus, which we also have.

And currently, we have a plan that allows us to take 1 DVD out at a time, while having unlimited live streaming.

Will the price hike change that? Probably. We’ll most likely stop the DVD plan and rent from Redbox, which has three locations within 2 miles of our house.

But am I outraged? Not really.

I think (hope) that the price increase will mean that Netflix can continue to add to its library, especially when it comes to movies and TV on demand. And I’d love to see more upgrades to the UI so that it’s easier to find and watch content.

But for less than $20, customers can have a pretty sweet deal, with DVDs and streaming (that can also be accessed on iPhones and iPads). It’s cheaper than cable.

What do you think?

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Comments

  1. says

    Allow me to namedrop without actually mentioning any names, haha. A friend of mine works for Pixar and says that the reason it’s happening is that NetFlix’s contract with the movie studios is coming to an end soon. Since NetFlix is wildly popular now and it wasn’t when they first made the agreement for trading movies and live streaming, the studios have a whole lot more leverage than they did initially. NetFlix jacked up their prices to prepare for the negotiation period and to prepare for the potential hardballing (word?) from the studios.

    I never traded the discs before so I went to straight streaming and am actually saving 2 bucks a month. I wasn’t upset at all :)

  2. says

    I saw all the buzz on twitter and changed my plan. I never did the streaming video so I just went with the discs. It totally stinks that they had to raise their prices but that seems to be a trend with everything lately. I feel like Netflix had to change their prices because it’s being changed on them by movie studios, etc… Movies in the theater seemed to have gotten even more expensive lately as well. I went to a theater in NYC the other week and paid $13.50

  3. says

    I’m doing DVDs and streaming but I was already thinking about switching to streaming only because I take forever to watch actual DVDs. This just helped me make that decision and saved me a bit of cash too. :)

  4. says

    When we got that we made the change to stop getting any DVDs and just have the streaming. The best part about that is that my kids can use the account at college to watch too. We actually do get most of our videos from the library:) You just have to wait a really, really, really long time.

  5. says

    I’m more annoyed than enraged. We don’t have cable either, and we use the streaming a DVD features of Netflix constantly. We can afford to pay for both, but its money I was hoping to spend elsewhere. One of those places was Hulu Plus. I’m wondering if I’m the only one who’s now planning to put off trying out Hulu Plus because the Netflix rates are going up. With all the negative press Netflix is getting, it’ll be interesting to see if any other changes happen.

  6. says

    We use Netflix and almost never watch “real TV”. Actually, since we moved two weeks ago we haven’t had cable, just Netflix. Even with Netflix as our only way to watch TV I’m not too upset about this. We very rarely get DVD’s delivered and just watch instantly.

    If only they get more DVDs and such streaming I would be pumped.

  7. says

    I understand the price increase, especially after what Ryan wrote. I’m just annoyed I didn’t get an email from Netflix telling me that my monthly fee is going up. At first I thought it wasn’t, but then I forgot I changed my plan from 2 DVDs at a time to 1 DVD at a time. Honestly I don’t need the DVDs anymore and will switch to the streaming only plan or switch to Amazon Prime. I need to do some more investigation on Amazon Prime with title availability , but it is cheaper if you break it down per month and the quality is much better.

  8. says

    We have the same plan. It’s certainly annoying, and unfortunate for them that they are going to lose so much business over this. I’ll def be making more trips to the Redbox!

  9. says

    We signed up for Netflix back in February when we had a free month subscription for streaming and were in the midst of a major midwest blizzard. We ended up signing up and adding the DVDs in the mail because they had many more options than Redbox, which we had been very loyal to the past 5 years. When I received the email about the price hike, I actually didn’t really care. A $6 increase each month isn’t going to break our budget. I don’t really watch the streaming too much because there’s not a lot of options and no new movies, but I do like it for some TV shows (and my husband LOVES it). And, if you’re like my parents who do the DVDs only, their price dropped $2, which I think is a pretty sweet deal. But, really, $6 is all people are complaining about?

  10. says

    I am THE movie addict. I watch almost everything! I say almost because I work full time, so I can’t quite fit it all in. I have the Netflix plan where I take out 2 DVDs at a time, plus my streaming. This means that I watch at least 5 movies per week. 20 per month and that doesn’t include the extra streaming movies when I run out of my top choices! So, I’m still coming out pretty darn cheap! If we weren’t getting Netflix, I would be insisting on one theatre movie per week which would cost us $16 for tickets (matinee) and $15-20 for lunch each weekend. Already, for just one movie, we’ve spent way more than what Netflix costs me per month.

    Still very much worth the Netflix subscription for me!

  11. Julianne says

    I’d love to cancel cable and go to Netflix only, but I like using closed captioning when I watch tv and not all of Netflix streaming options provide captions. I’d wish they spend some time working on this issue and I’d wish companies would make their technology more accessible to those with disabilities. For example, did you know the iPhone is not hearing aid compatible? Apple gets away with it because their providers offer phones that are.

  12. says

    I don’t have internet or cable, so I only get the DVD’s in the mail. It works for me, and I just changed my plan from Live streaming + DVD’s to DVD’s only and was saving $2. Woo. Then I discovered I could upgrade to having two DVD’s out at a time for only a couple bucks more, but still less than the $16-17 it would be for live stream + DVD. Anyway, I have no problems with the increase, as my cable bill was $100+ monthly.

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