Netflix announces 20% rate increase for Blu-ray customers

Netflix, one of the largest online DVD rental companies in the United States with over 10 million subscribers, today announced a disappointing 20% rate increase for Blu-ray subscribers.

In the announcement Jessie Becker, VP of Marketing, mentions that the company is adding more Blu-ray titles everyday and about 10% of Netflix customers are now renting movies in high definition. This move was inevitable as prices continue to climb for Blu-ray disks, which have always been over-priced.

While the amount isn't, in my opinion, a tremendous rate increase, Netflix customers around the globe do not like today's announcement. If you currently have Blu-ray access on your account, the change will not take effect until your next billing cycle on or after April 27th, 2009. Customers, who add Blu-ray access to their account from today on, will see the new pricing immediately. An overview of the price changes:

1 DVD out at-a-time (2 DVDs a month)
Monthly plan cost: $4.99
Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray: $1

1 DVD out at-a-time (Unlimited)
Montly plan cost: $8.99
Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray: $2

2 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited)
Monthly plan cost: $13.99
Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray: $3

3 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited)
Monthly plan cost: $16.99
Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray: $4

4 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited)
Monthly plan cost: $23.99
Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray: $5

5 DVDs out at-a-time (Unlimited)
Monthly plan cost $29.99
Additional monthly charge for Blu-ray: $6

More details about the pricing changes can be found here.

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Ok, so whats up with the graphics on Neowin...they are upside down on the main page and this page shows Netfix upside down...tested this on two systems...

wilbert said,
Ok, so whats up with the graphics on Neowin...they are upside down on the main page and this page shows Netfix upside down...tested this on two systems...

Its April 1st.

I'm considering knocking off the blu ray option. There never was an additional price for Blockbuster. Is that the same still? I think in the end... I'll probably just rent the blu ray from Blockbuster. I don't rent that many blu ray's anyway and it makes no sense for me to go to the crazy $4 up price.

bangbang023 said,
Streaming to my 360 is what sells Netflix of BB for me.

Me too. Knocked blu ray off for that. I just got a 26 inch sanyo from walmart, ordered a male to male vga cable and I'm watching Netflix on the tv..

after i got the email from notflix i removed blu-ray from my 3dvd plan, long delays on getting blue ray anyway.

will be looking for other services if their delays in general dont solve

had to Xbox Marketplace 1 movie cause it was waiting #1 in queue for over a month

Wait how is this an increase? We were paying that on our account from the day NetFlix offered blu-ray and we signed up for blu-ray delivery

neufuse said,
Wait how is this an increase? We were paying that on our account from the day NetFlix offered blu-ray and we signed up for blu-ray delivery

you should have only been paying $1 for blu, its been increased based on your plan, in my case it went from a $1 charge to $4.

you were paying only $1 for blu-ray access, now you will pay another $1 per disk plan ( i had a 3 disk plan and blu-ray access went up to $4 a month instead of just $1

neufuse said,
Wait how is this an increase? We were paying that on our account from the day NetFlix offered blu-ray and we signed up for blu-ray delivery

I made the move to blue ray a few months ago...but I refuse to buy in to this sort of system for reasons like this. I'll rent from a local store every other month or even less...perhaps just wait to catch the movie on HBO,Starz when its in HD and just as good plus I can DVR the movies or rip them out of the air to my Computer.. either way Netflix is just shooting themselves in the foot for doing this.

sava700 said,
I made the move to blue ray a few months ago...but I refuse to buy in to this sort of system for reasons like this. I'll rent from a local store every other month or even less...perhaps just wait to catch the movie on HBO,Starz when its in HD and just as good plus I can DVR the movies or rip them out of the air to my Computer.. either way Netflix is just shooting themselves in the foot for doing this.


Shooting themselves in the foot for still being way cheaper then their competition?

Worth it? I don't know. This is only my 1st month with Netflix, I was paying $16.99, with the new prices I would be paying $20.99. I am not sure if I need 3 out at a time since I really only have time for 2 movies over the weekend. My movies come in 3 days, mail out Monday, received Tuesday, new movies on Thursday. So I think I will be ok with 2 out at a time. I am not saying its still not a great deal, cause it def is. I was paying $5 each rental at BB or Hollywood Video, I am just saying with this new price change I could live with lowering it to 2 out at a time and its still a good deal for me.

I already lowered my plan from 3 out at a time down to 2 out at a time... I think $4 is a bit much to ask just for the Bluray option.

jerzdawg said,
I already lowered my plan from 3 out at a time down to 2 out at a time... I think $4 is a bit much to ask just for the Bluray option.

Really? So a $3 increase (since we already pay $1 for BD access) is worth losing 2-4 rents per month? Did we all forget going to Blockbuster and paying up to $5 for new releases for 3 days? Even with the fee increase it's still a deal.

bob_c_b said,
Really? So a $3 increase (since we already pay $1 for BD access) is worth losing 2-4 rents per month? Did we all forget going to Blockbuster and paying up to $5 for new releases for 3 days? Even with the fee increase it's still a deal.

Blockbuster's online plan is 3 out for $20 a month, exchange up to 5 in store per month for a free movie, and no extra charge for BD. Also, when you exchange in the store, the movie you receive no longer has a late fee. It goes into your online account just like it was mailed to you. I haven't paid a rental fee in Blockbuster in a long time. Here is a plan list: https://www.blockbuster.com/signup/s/plan

RangerLG said,
Blockbuster's online plan is 3 out for $20 a month, exchange up to 5 in store per month for a free movie, and no extra charge for BD. Also, when you exchange in the store, the movie you receive no longer has a late fee. It goes into your online account just like it was mailed to you. I haven't paid a rental fee in Blockbuster in a long time. Here is a plan list: https://www.blockbuster.com/signup/s/plan

Or I can just pay $20 for Netflix and never have to go to a store.

But you aren't paying $20, you are paying $21. My point is that BB is competitive. You don't have to go to the store for BB either, it is optional.

"Netflix customers around the globe do not like today's announcement."

Netflix is only available in the US, so frankly most people across the globe don't care.

they will lose big times when the 'evil' blu-ray DRM get activated next year

since it lock the disc to the first player you played it on.

skynetXrules said,
they will lose big times when the 'evil' blu-ray DRM get activated next year

since it lock the disc to the first player you played it on.

LOL, troll much?

skynetXrules said,
they will lose big times when the 'evil' blu-ray DRM get activated next year

since it lock the disc to the first player you played it on.


And how exactly are they supposed to do that since the disc is not writable and most Blu-Ray players aren't connected to the internet?

skynetXrules said,
they will lose big times when the 'evil' blu-ray DRM get activated next year

since it lock the disc to the first player you played it on.

The only thing they can do is "activate" HDCP which mean if your player and TV is not HDCP certified, the movie may (at movie studios option) show the movie at normal 1080p, or lower resoltion, or not at all which is burned in to the disk....

Any links to this hidden lock to player featuer?

xpablo said,
Welcome to the end of the format war, now that Blu-Ray has won, prices increased, no surprise.

To be honest with you I hated that it turned out this way. I would rather HD had just one or they kept this thing going. But had blu ray had not bought off walmart this war would still be going on right now.

Another reason for me not to get a blue ray player. I watch movies for the directing, acting, story, and orginality. Not because it is a slightly higher quality picture and better sound. A dollar here and there add's up for a person like me.

If you think that there is only a "slightly higher quality picture" then you have never watched the same movie in both formats on a HDTV. Either that or you are legally blind.

roadwarrior said,
If you think that there is only a "slightly higher quality picture" then you have never watched the same movie in both formats on a HDTV. Either that or you are legally blind.

Maybe it's just because he has 'Pixil Eyes'.

Ha!! Those comments are beautiful! And I too am okay with the extra cost, I obviously am ready to pay the premium for premium quality movies to experience my movies at the best quality available.

roadwarrior said,
If you think that there is only a "slightly higher quality picture" then you have never watched the same movie in both formats on a HDTV. Either that or you are legally blind.

That's oversimplifying things like crazy. The difference in quality depends on part the display size and the distance from your TV. Playing HDTV on a 42" LCD from a reasonable distance is just plain silly, for example. At least if you also have a good upscaling DVD player.

I have a 26" 720p Insginia T.V. hooked up to a media server. I will not notice that much difference. I will upgrade one day when I have extra cash.

I did lol at Shiranui's comment

roadwarrior said,
If you think that there is only a "slightly higher quality picture" then you have never watched the same movie in both formats on a HDTV. Either that or you are legally blind.

I have watched both formats and the difference isnt enough for me to justify the higher pricing. Furthermore hollywood is basically just reusing the same old crap over and over again with all the movies. The quality of movies themselves have just gone down over the years. I hardly ever go to the movies anymore and the only reason I even look at movies now is because of the netflix unlimited plan. Basically for me to make that kind of switch to actually buy blu ray movies the price point would have to be blu ray costing what regular dvds cost now and for dvds to be alot cheaper, till that happens I could careless about blu ray.

Jugalator said,
That's oversimplifying things like crazy. The difference in quality depends on part the display size and the distance from your TV. Playing HDTV on a 42" LCD from a reasonable distance is just plain silly, for example. At least if you also have a good upscaling DVD player.


I have a 32" Emerson 720p TV and have watched Blu-Ray and DVD with my PS3, and also have watched upscaled DVDs with an upscaling HDMI-connected DVD player (before it broke), and even from 8-10 feet away I can easily see the difference.

I have a 23" 1080p monitor and I can tell the diff between dvd, 720p and 1080p. It's a SIGNIFICANT difference. If you can't tell then you have poor vision.

You shouldn't complain. The prices reflect the additional cost they are incurring purchasing the Blu-Ray discs. Over time, as the price comes down, so will Netflix's Blu-Ray rental prices. Netflix is historically VERY good about their pricing, and has lowered it in the past. I'm still on a grandfathered 4-disc unlimited plan for the price of 3.

Yeah, I've been getting 4 discs at the 3 disc price for a while now. It started a while back when they weren't able to send me one of my selections. It was supposed to go back to three discs when I sent all of the ones I had back, but it has lasted for a couple of months now.

jafoman said,
You shouldn't complain. The prices reflect the additional cost they are incurring purchasing the Blu-Ray discs. Over time, as the price comes down, so will Netflix's Blu-Ray rental prices. Netflix is historically VERY good about their pricing, and has lowered it in the past. I'm still on a grandfathered 4-disc unlimited plan for the price of 3.


I'm not complaining, as for I'm very grateful that I'm not going bankrupt renting Blu-ray disks, instead of paying $40+.

"While the amount isn't, in my opinion, a tremendous rate increase, Netflix customers around the globe do not like today's announcement."

jafoman said,
You shouldn't complain. The prices reflect the additional cost they are incurring purchasing the Blu-Ray discs. Over time, as the price comes down, so will Netflix's Blu-Ray rental prices. Netflix is historically VERY good about their pricing, and has lowered it in the past. I'm still on a grandfathered 4-disc unlimited plan for the price of 3.

How much more expensive is a BD compared to a DVD? 10 bucks? and it still can be seen as many times (if not more) as a DVD, so they still make money anyway. It's a one-time cost. So down the line it just costs 'a bit' more than a dvd for them. Which makes me think this 20% increase makes them earn more money than they do with DVD, and that they're not just "compensating" the price difference.

Julius Caro said,
How much more expensive is a BD compared to a DVD? 10 bucks? and it still can be seen as many times (if not more) as a DVD, so they still make money anyway. It's a one-time cost. So down the line it just costs 'a bit' more than a dvd for them. Which makes me think this 20% increase makes them earn more money than they do with DVD, and that they're not just "compensating" the price difference.

Sounds OK except Netflix does not pay what you and I pay for a disc. They rent the discs and therefore pay a higher rate. It used to be about $99 for a new release DVD, but that was 10 years ago. Now it may be more (or less). With no competition, BD rates can be set at whatever the publisher wants and with NDAs, there is no way to know what that rate it for the consumer.