Chicago (IL) – Don’t say you did not see this one coming. An economy in recession, slowing subscriber growth and higher cost of Blu-ray media means what for your Netflix subscription? Yes, a price increase. And depending on your plan, you may be paying up to $9 per month extra for the privilege of watching movies in high-definition.
Surcharges are never something people like and always means walking a fine line between extra expenses and what consumers are willing to absorb. Back in October, Netflix introduced a $1 general charge to those accounts that are requesting Blu-ray movies. Today, the company increased the charge for all “unlimited” plans. The 1 DVD-out-at-a-time plan now adds $2 to $10.99 per month, the 2 DVDs-out-at-a-time plan adds $3 to $16.99 per month, the 3 DVD-out-at-a-time plan adds $4 to $20.99 per month – you get the pattern. The most expensive plan, 8 DVDs-out-at-a-time plan adds $9 to $56.99 per month.
Netflix subscribers reacted with little understanding and while Netflix’ argument that Blu-ray discs are more expensive than DVDs and therefore involve extra cost makes sense, most customers are complaining about the fact that Netflix does not seem to have enough Blu-ray discs in stock to cover demand. Netflix said about 10% of all subscribers are ordering Blu-ray movies, Netflix said.
According to the company, Blu-ray content is expected to grow quickly from currently 1300 available titles (there are more than 60,000 titles on DVD), but purchasing movies on Blu-ray is 30% more expensive, the firm said. The problem, however, does not seem to be the available content; it appears that users have to wait for their Blu-ray movies much longer than for DVDs. The price hike may require Netflix to increase the number of available discs of each title.