As it continues to push its streaming video service, Netflix has just made it a lot more expensive if you want unlimited DVD rentals. In a letter sent to subscribers, the online video giant explained that unlimited DVD rentals and unlimited online streaming will be broken into two separate services. No longer will they be tied together.
This means if you want to keep getting DVDs by mail and streaming TV shows and movies online, your monthly subscription cost is going to jump pretty substantially.
However, for those who currently have a streaming-only account, your price will remain unchanged. The unlimited streaming service will continue to be $7.99 per month.
Also, for those who only want to get DVDs by mail, you may actually get a price break. Under the new pricing structure, DVD rental plans will begin at as low as $7.99 per month (for one DVD at a time).
The kicker, though, is if you want both services together. So for a one-DVD-per-month plan and unlimited online streaming, it will now cost $15.98 per month. Previously, that plan was only $9.99.
It may seem like this plan is intended to wean consumers off of the DVD-by-mail program, as many subscribers will likely just nix that part of their plan. However, Netflix contends it will actually help ensure that the service lives on, saying the current pricing didn't make financial sense given all the costs associated with mailing out DVDs and keeping track of inventory.
The new prices will go into effect September 1, so watch out - Netflix will automatically enroll you into the same plan you have now, even if it means a higher monthly fee. You can change your options in your account page on Netflix.com.