Netflix price hike


#1

I know a ton of people here have Netflix. Thoughts?

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Netflix is basically going to end up being a really expensive, streaming version of HBO. That’s how I think this is going to play out, anyway. Or comcast will buy them and then disband them.


#2

My wife and I have used Netflix for years now (streaming + 2 DVDs out at a time).

This ups our price from like $14 bucks a month to $19. While the price hike sucks, thankfully we’re not in a spot where 60 bucks a year is going to make us quit the service. Hell, going to a single movie costs more than 20 bucks for a couple, it’s still a really good deal.


#3

streaming price staying the same, i went streaming only since I never ordered a dvd from netflix so once the streaming only plan came along that was a buck cheaper i cut the fat post haste, and then it stopped asking me to add dvds to my queue quite an added bonus


#4

Also, something interesting about this whole Netflix thing from Wired.

So the ISPs can now be mad at a legit company rather than pirates and “TEH HAX0Rz”.


#5

And last, but not least, the interesting predicament Netflix is in, and the predicament pay channels like starz and showtime are in because of licensing their stuff to Netflix.

Netflix users see Starz over disappearance of Sony movies

June 23, 2011 | 4:17 pm

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As editor of a blog that recommends what to watch on Netflix, Taylor Nikolai is used to seeing movies come and go from the online streaming service. But even he was surprised last Friday when more than 250 films from Sony Pictures were suddenly no longer available.

“It’s the first time I can remember a huge bulk of movies disappearing without advance warning,” the Minnesota resident said.

Customers upset that their Netflix Instant queue unexpectedly lost some of its highest-profile titles, like “The Social Network,” “Salt” and “Grown Ups,” might be frustrated with Netflix and Sony. In reality, the catalyst is a pay cable network whose fate is tied to Netflix: Starz.

As part of its agreements to carry films from Sony and Walt Disney Studios on television, Starz, which is owned by Liberty Media Corp., also acquired the online rights to their movies. In 2008, Starz struck a four-year deal to distribute that content to Netflix that analysts estimate is worth $20 million to $30 million annually. According to IHS Screen Digest, the arrangement covers more than 1,000 movies a year.

The disappearance of Sony’s movies resulted from a clause in the Starz agreement. According to people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because contract terms are confidential, it includes an undisclosed cap, which has recently been exceeded, on the number of people who can watch Sony movies online.

To return Sony’s movies to Netflix, Starz needs to renegotiate the terms with the studio and is likely to seek higher payments from Netflix.

Starz saw the original Netflix deal as an easy way to spread its brand online and generate extra money. But Netflix has exploded in popularity over the last three years. It now has more than 23.6 million subscribers, many of whom watch movies online or on Internet-connected televisions. As a result Netflix has become a competitor to cable channels, putting Starz in the difficult position of charting its future while doing business with its fastest-growing rival.

“At the time the Netflix deal seemed like a good proposition to make money in a medium that wasn’t being used,” Janney Capital Markets analyst Tony Wible said. Starz now is “cannibalizing its own revenue … and potentially trading a dollar for a nickel.”

Starz and Netflix are discussing whether and on what terms to extend their overall content deal, which expires next winter. Analysts have estimated that a renewal would cost Netflix more than $200 million a year.

“Starz is in the bad place of standing in the middle of the studios and Netflix with a hand out saying ‘pay us,’” said Arash Amel, HIS Screen Digest’s digital media research director.

Resolving the issue appears crucial for Netflix because Starz is one of only two sources it has for movies less than 7 years old to stream online. The other is pay cable channel Epix, which offers movies from Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

By not renewing with Netflix, Starz could give people who want to watch see recently released Sony and Disney movies an incentive to subscribe to its cable channel, which is essentially the strategy that its larger rival HBO is pursuing.

If an accord is not reached, Netflix viewers will be left without access to Sony movies for the duration of their contract, which runs through 2016. Such a scenario is unlikely, however. People close to the talks have said they expect a resolution in the near future. In the meantime, Sony movies are still available on other online platforms for Starz subscribers.

Starz could face a similar situation with the Disney deal. A person with knowledge of that contract said once the number of Netflix subscribers streaming content online exceeds 20 million, which is expected to happen soon, Starz must pay Disney close to 20 cents a month for each additional subscriber.

Already there are signs that Starz is rethinking its cozy relationship with Netflix. The pay service this year started holding back its original programs such as the drama “Camelot” from Netflix for 90 days in a bid to make fans pay to watch it on TV.

Netflix executives, meanwhile, have made clear that in the future they intend to bid against pay cable networks for the rights to studio movies, aiming to cut Starz and HBO out of the equation.
–Ben Fritz and Joe Flint


#6

Streaming has been cutting back the amount of availability…

Not worth it.


#7

$8 bucks a month for streaming only is a great deal IMO. I’ve had the same DVD sitting on my desk for over 6 months (no lie), so I don’t really care about the price increase. It will actually save me $2 a month.


#8

So, I guess everyone is going to get their DVDs from Redbox, and stream from Netflix?


#9

Streaming is great, but my problem has always been the availability of what I’d like to stream versus what’s been available on DVD. It seems there’s certain things I can’t stream that are available on DVD only (sometimes vice versa). If I were to stream, I’d like to have everything that’s on DVD at my disposal.


#10

If they want to phase out physical media, they better have every goddamn thing available to stream. The price hike does not bother me too much, I would rather pay for netfilx than cable.


#11

Well, this gives me reason to cut off my bluray rentals since I don’t use them very often (like once every three months) and just go with the 8 bucks a month streaming. Otherwise to keep what I have I’d be paying like 24 a month instead of 18. It’s not much of a difference, but it’s enough that I’ll drop to 8 bucks a month and save some cash. That’s why this feels like such a stupid move to me. I can’t be the only person who uses the DVD stuff sporatically but uses streaming like crazy. So they’re effectively cutting off a revenue stream of 10 bucks a month in regards to me and others like me who do 90% streaming and rent something like once every quarter. They were essentially making extra money each month while doing very little. They way I looked at it was that we were paying 18 a month for streaming and the ability to rent, though we rarely did.


#12

lol i had the same problem with gamefly, im like, wait a minute, I am paying 25 bucks a month to have brutal legend and heavy rain just sit on my floor cuz my white ass is too lazy to mail them back in?

sadly streaming game services ala gametap suck hard dickballs


#13

Yeah I got an email this morning from Netflix telling me about the price increase. That really sucks. I have the streaming and 1 DVD out at a time, but mainly just use it for the streaming.

I was looking at Blockbuster online and apparently you can get games now as well as DVD’s. That’s pretty cool. Anyone use BB online?


#14

This is good…
I want to turn off the physical DVD portion as my wife NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVAH uses it despite wanting to keep it. when we want a DVD we go to Redbox…Netflix by itself is good, but coupled with Redbox - thats where they both shine. I’m all for a price hike actually IF matters like the Sony issue posted by RC above can be hashed out with the extra money. I’d actually pay for a ‘premium’ service that got new movies…Netflix has done streaming movies ‘right’, the ‘On Demand’ crap that my cable provider (Verizon) puts up is garbage…and overpriced. It’s kind of funny how I went from pirating everything, to going legit, to WANTING to pay more so I can get better services heh…THAT my friends is maturity hahaha.

  • :bluu:

#15

I’ll probably just go with the 8 dollar streaming, too. It’s been over a year since I got an actual disc from them.


#16

Sorry offtopic, but Gamefly’s awesome if you’re one of those “achievement/trophy hunter” people.


#17

Redbox or Blockbuster?

Streaming isn’t even worth it unless I want to watch ancient movies and spend all day trying to find something decent to add to the Q. Streaming seems best for those who want to catch up on missed network TV shows. So pretty much they are making you pay for streaming which was a throw in bonus before.

tisk tisk netflix. shame. You really did forget what made your subscriber-ship explode in the first place. Value on my dollar.


#18

Blockbuster still exists?


#19

it’s interesting, that article is very anti-netflix (here are some netflix alternatives!), written by CNN which is owned by time warner, the CEO of which is starting competing companies


#20

i dont use netflix streaming because they have a worthless selection of movies

i actually prefer blockbuster but too bad they’re all going out of business, i guess i’ll try the redbox i keep seeing outside the grocery stores. but one of my favorite memories was just going to blockbusters with my buddies while drunk/high and making fun of the various movies before picking one. it was the entire experience itself that made it magical

ah life before the internets