US premium online video portal Netflix has introduced a $7.99 (€5.83) streaming-only subscription plan in the US. With this pricing, it is directly challenging Hulu Plus’ earlier announced subscription model.
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. Netflix said its members are now watching more content streamed over the internet than on discs delivered by mail.
“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, in a statement. “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.”
The company has 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.
Netflix members in the US now have access to an ever 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.
Over time, Netflix has added to the streaming content available to its members. This year alone, licensing deals with NBC Universal, Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, EPIX, Relativity Media and Nu Image/Millennium Films have added a wealth of first-run theatrical films, hit TV series and movie classics to the Netflix streaming offering.
In late September, the company introduced its service in Canada, the first availability of Netflix outside the US. Canadian members can instantly watch unlimited movies and TV shows streamed from Netflix for C$7.99 (€5.74) 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.