Netflix has announced they are changing their subscription plan in a way that sharply increases the monthly rate for those wanting both dvd rentals by mail and the company's streaming content.
Currently, Netflix charges $9.99 per month for unlimited dvd rentals by mail (1 dvd out at a time) plus unlimited streaming content, which is available online, through gaming devices such as Playstation or Nintendo Wii, or via mobile devices such as iPad/iPhone/iPod Touch.
The new plan, which takes effect for current subscribers on September 1, charges $7.99 per month for dvds only (1 at a time) and an additional $7.99 for streaming. New subscribers get the new rates immediately.
Netflix said the old plan didn't "make great financial sense" for them.
Unsurprisingly, the announcement has prompted criticism from current subscribers, who say they wouldn't mind paying that much extra (or even more) for the instant content if Netflix's streaming catalog were larger. An estimate from November 2010 stated that about 20 percent of the Netflix catalog is available for streaming.
Lea Chan of Durham, who has been a Netflix subscriber since 2002, says the new charges for streaming content do not work for her. "Their streaming library doesn't cover all my needs," Chan said. "They need more content. For example, 'CSI' isn't on there. Netflix is losing goodwill over this."