Netflix said it will offer its first unlimited streaming-only subscription plan in the United States for $7.99 a month, and raise prices of its popular unlimited streaming and unlimited DVD plans by a dollar -- eventually shifting away from its mail business.
The plan, which allows members to instantly watch unlimited movies and TV episodes streamed from Netflix to TVs and computers, is available now to both new and existing members.
"We are now primarily a streaming video company delivering a wide selection of TV shows and films over the Internet," said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO. "Today's action reflects the tremendous customer value we've injected into streaming from Netflix, our initial success with a pure streaming service in Canada for $7.99 a month and what our U.S. members tell us they want."
The company also announced that the price of its subscription combining unlimited movies and TV shows streamed instantly over the Internet and unlimited DVDs delivered by mail, with one DVD out at a time, will increase by a dollar a month to $9.99. Prices of subscription plans allowing for more DVDs out at a time will also increase. Netflix also included below the changes on all the plans. To see how these changes impact your Netflix account, visit Membership Details
. Price changes take effect now for new sign-ups and in January for existing members, Netflix said.
"The price increase will allow us to continue to offer the popular plan choice of unlimited TV episodes and movies streaming instantly along with unlimited DVDs. The new plan, which does not include DVDs, is a great option for the increasing number of members who only want to watch instantly. The $7.99 a month price reflects no DVD shipping costs on this plan," said Jessie Becker VP Marketing at Netflix.
Netflix recently announced that in the current quarter, which ends December 31, its members will watch more content streamed over the Internet than on DVDs and that in the same period Netflix will invest more money to license streaming content than to acquire DVDs.
Netflix members in the U.S. now have access to an expanding library of movies and TV episodes that can be watched instantly, and there are more than 200 consumer electronics devices - including the three major game consoles and scores of Blu-ray disc players, Internet-connected TVs and digital video players ? capable of streaming from Netflix right to members' TVs.
In late September, the company introduced its service in Canada, the first availability of Netflix outside the U.S. Canadian members can instantly watch unlimited movies and TV shows streamed from Netflix for C$7.99 a month. The company recently said its Canadian service has surpassed initial expectations and encouraged it to accelerate plans for further international expansion in 2011.