Netflix touts streaming-only plan

W00t! Now we can finally ditch those scratched-up DVDs, because Netflix is rolling out an $8 streaming-only subscription plan.

“We are [currently] primarily a streaming video company delivering a wide selection of TV shows and films over the Internet,” explained Netflix CEO Reed Hastings.

“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 US members tell us they want.”

Hastings also confirmed that Netflix will be raising the price of its subscription plan which combines streamed content and mailed DVDs (with one disc out at a time), from $8.99 to $9.99.

However, Martin Peers of the Wall Street Journal expressed skepticism over Hasting’s description of Netflix as a “primarily streaming” video company.

“[This] might imply a majority will drop down to streaming only, which is at least $2 a month cheaper than offerings including DVDs,” said Peers.

“[But] it is a good bet that won’t happen.”

According to Peers, given the “limited amount” of content available on the streaming service, the vast majority of subscribers will likely pay a little extra to receive a DVD.

“Of course, some people may drop to the lowest DVD tier, allowing only one disk out at a time. But those downgrades also should reduce Netflix’s mailing costs, mitigating any impact.

“[Still], the real question is whether the price rise prompts any avid Netflix users to consider dropping their pricier cable or satellite subscription. That’s a cliffhanger whose answer won’t be apparent at least until next season,” he added.

What do you think?