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Coming Soon: Netflix to offer streaming only option

Steve Henn Sep 24, 2010

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for Sunshine Sachs)

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings is hinting his company will soon offer cheaper, streaming-only subscriptions in the US. For folks who sign up it means no more DVDs arriving in the mail, and comes on the heels of a similar plan announced for the Canadian market.

The pricing Netflix is offering in Canada, $7.99 per month, does not include any DVD-by-mail option, and that is why it is cheaper than our $8.99 USA plan which has both DVD-by-mail and streaming in one plan. We are looking at adding a streaming-only option for the USA over the coming months….

The move makes sense. It would cut out the cost of postage ,which has to be one of the biggest line items in the Netflix budget. And it could help Netflix leverage its enormous investment in online video. Netflix has made several deals over the past few months to add thousands of new TV and movie titles to its streaming service through deals with Warner Bros., NBC Universal, and EPIX, a joint venture between Viacom Inc., Paramount Pictures unit, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., and Lionsgate.

But perhaps Hasting’s was just trying to make amends.

Recently the Hollywood Reporter asked Hastings if he was anxious about a possible US backlash as the company launched a new, cheaper streaming only service in Canada.

Hastings replied that he wasn’t worried, adding, “[h]ow much has it been your experience that Americans follow what happens in the world? It’s something we’ll monitor, but Americans are somewhat self-absorbed.”


IN RELATED NEWS: Blockbuster goes bust: Files for Chapter 11. And reporter Adriene Hill wonders how the video rental store even lasted this long. Also, the video vending-machine company, Redbox rents its 1 billionth movie.

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