Netflix Monthly Bills Could Increase: DVD & Streaming Split

We recently told how if the new Motorola Droid Bionic smartphone on Verizon has an OMAP4 processor on release, there’s a possibility of Netflix HD further down the line and how it would please many prospective purchasers. However today’s Netflix news is not so positive as it seems your monthly bills could soon be increased if you’re a Netflix user.

Yesterday Netflix announced that the unlimited DVD and streaming services at present will be split into different plans and this could see a price hike for existing customers beginning on September 1. If you want to use both the DVD and the streaming movie service that hike will be as much as 60%.

According to Sarah Kessler over on Mashable, current users can have unlimited movie streaming online at a price of $9.99 monthly and also take out one DVD at a time. The new plans come into immediate effect for new customers and means that there will be two separate charges and it will now cost $7.99 per month for one- at-a-time DVD rental by mail or $7.99 per month for online movie streaming. If both services are required that will cost $15.98 per month (note no reduction for taking both services).

In November Netflix introduced a new movie streaming-only service for $7.99 monthly but apparently it was not anticipated at that time that there might also be a DVD plan. However Jessie Becker, Netflix VIP of marketing posted on its blog, “Since then we have realized that there is still a very large continuing demand for DVDs both from our existing members as well as non-members.” Because of this it was felt by Netflix that it was not viable for the company to continue offering DVD’s from only a $2 add-on to the streaming service. Also the new plans allow for some customers just to choose the DVD service option.

Mashable has also conducted a poll amongst its readers asking if they will continue using Netflix considering the new charges. The poll is still open to vote at the above link but the two most popular votes so far show that a whopping 37.2% say they will cancel Netflix altogether. Another 33.34% say they will stick with Netflix but cancel the DVD service and just have the $7.99 movie streaming service. It seems then, that this move might not make as much financial sense as Netflix had anticipated.

We’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this. Will it change the way you currently use Netflix, or might you even stop using it altogether? Let us know by sending us your comments.