DVD renter and online video streamer Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) may begin the first day of the rest of its life tomorrow when its highly controversial pricing changes take effect. The company's move, which separates DVD plans from streaming plans and charges $8 per month for each, may formalize Netflix's break from its tradition business to pursue a future fully focused on online video. Some have suggested Netflix is trying to actually speed the demise of the traditional DVD-by-mail rental business.
Starting tomorrow, Netflix will split DVD plans and streaming plans.
PC World's Jeff Bertolucci noted that for many Netflix customers, tomorrow is the day to leave your DVD plan behind, rather than pay what amounts to a 60 percent hike over current rates. Bertolucci alos speculates that could give Blockbuster's dwindling empire something to cheer about, albeit briefly, if Blockbuster can rent DVD titles to consumers that they can't find in Netflix's streaming catalog.
Some recent reports also have suggested that angry Netflix customers might also give a boost to Vudu or other streaming companies as they flee current Netflix memberships. Interestingly, Netflix's stock price actually has been back up in recent days after the controversy around the July announcement of the new pricing plans had sent it sharply down for a time. Netflix appears to be counting on a resurgence of sign-ups and usage at the end of this year after the controversy blows over.
Netflix announced the price changes in July
Netflix has its sights set on international markets