I’ve become obsessed with the Netflix drama that occurred ever since they released their new plan changes and price increase. Obviously people are irate about the increase which will raise prices nearly 60% for many subscribers. A lot of it stems from separating the bundles. Now, you can no longer bundle streaming and the DVD by mail service. You effectively have to subscribe to both if you want both. In essence, there is no price break for doing so.
The unbundling is actually good for consumers. That must sound weird considering this is partially what people are complaining about. However, I see it as a way to save money. I took a look at my current plan, for $19.99 I get 3 DVDs out at-a-time and unlimited streaming. My new, comparable plan increases to $23.98. That sounds like a $4 increase, but I’m not looking at it that way. The $23.98 is the 3 DVDs out at-a-time plan ($15.99) + the Unlimited Streaming plan ($7.99). By unbundling, I now have the freedom to look at other streaming options, like HuluPlus, a service I’ve been wanting to try. If I continued to spend $19.99 for my Netflix plan and I decided I wanted to try HuluPlus, I would have ended up paying $27.98 a month. In essence, I’m saving $4.
Much of the chatter I’m hearing from people was how they are canceling the subscription and moving to Redbox, Blockbuster, HuluPlus or a combination of the three. I’ve considered this throughout my Netflix membership. In fact it was during the last price increase that I remember contemplating Redbox. Looking at Redbox now, it would cost me an additional $5-$8 a month to rent the same number of DVDs I’m renting now through Netflix (21-24); that doesn’t include an $8 a month streaming plan. Total cost for Redbox and HuluPlus/Netflix Instant Watch, $29-$32 a month.
Looking at Blockbuster’s plans, I can get 3 DVDs out at-a-time for $19.99 without streaming. There is no value there. The only advantage that Blockbuster has over Netflix is game rentals, and many new releases are available before Netflix. The reality is, I can wait for new releases to be available on Netflix. I’m never in that much of a hurry to see a movie. Blockbuster’s service will cost me an additional $4. Again, including a streaming plan the total cost of Blockbuster and streaming is, $28 a month.
So you see, even with the price increase, Netflix is still the better deal for me. Right now, my average cost per movie/program on Netflix by mail and streaming is 18¢. Will that eventually go up with the new increase? Maybe a little, but what people have to realize is Netflix is a business, not a family. They provide a service to make money. I feel when a company brings enjoyment to people and these same people are then faced with the reality that they are dealing with a business, they feel betrayed.
When I hear people on Facebook and Twitter talk about Netflix, they mention more expensive options. If it was really about the money, they would know Netflix is ultimately the better deal. Betrayal runs deep and the blind rage that comes with it doesn’t allow people to think clearly. So they react aggressively and impulsively, that’s what I’m seeing now. It’s one thing if you rent less than 8 movies a month, maybe then Netflix won’t save you much over Redbox. Folks just need to calm down, logically look at the options, then cancel if they can’t make it work. They shouldn’t impulsively cancel something that once brought them happiness.