Los Gatos (CA) – Netflix today said it has dropped its “metered” approach to allow customers to stream content onto their PC screen, depending on what subscription plan they chose. Previously, a $9/month “unlimited” plan came with an account of 9 hours of movie streaming per month, while a $14 plan included 14 hours, a $17 plan 17 hours and a $24 plan 24 hours.
All “unlimited” plans now enable customers to stream as many hours of content as they want. However, while Netflix’ DVD library lists more than 90,000 different titles, the online library has only 6000 titles of “familiar movies and TV episodes”. Available titles include "30 Rock," as well as feature films "The Sum of All Fears" and "The Italian Job" and Academy Award-winners "Pan's Labyrinth" and "Letters from Iwo Jima", Netflix said.
The only plan not to include all-you-can-eat online access is the $5 per month plan, which still provides only 5 hours of streaming per month.
"Unlimited has always been a very powerful selling point with our subscribers and a large part of what set us apart in the marketplace," said Leslie Kilgore, the company's chief marketing officer, in a prepared statement. "In talking with members about our streaming feature during the past year, it became clear that, as with DVDs, the idea of streaming unlimited movies and TV episodes on a PC resonated quite strongly. And we're now in a good position to offer that."
Netflix’ move is likely to increase the pressure on Blockbuster, which currently streams movies to a PC for a fee of between $2 and $5 per movie via its Movielink platform. Movielink, which was acquired by Blockbuster last year, however, also offers movie downloads for purchase: Movies are offered for as little as $8 and as much as $20.