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Netflix planning to launch lower cost, streaming-only service in the US

10.21.2010

And the move towards no more physical media continues...

The LA Times today is reporting that Netflix co-founder and CEO Reed Hastings announced that the steadily growing video rental company "is looking to offer a new lower-cost plan through which subscribers could access movies and TV shows solely online." The move by Netflix comes just as the company, for the first time ever, will actually be delivering more hours of content via online access than over physical discs. Netflix is apparently now spending more money on its streaming service as well. A large part of that is the recent five-year, $1 billion deal with premium cable channel Epix, which is providing content from the libraries of Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate, and MGM.

Our Canadian brethren already began enjoying the streaming-only service last month (for only $7.99 a month), and it's been thus far considered a success. This has led the company to test an identical service in the US. The LA Times says, "If the test fares well, all consumers will be able to sign up for streaming-only service. Hastings did not identify a price, but it is likely to be the same as it is in Canada." Netflix, of course, would continue to offer its current disc rental packages (which include streaming).

So, here are the big questions that I feel are only going to get bigger in the near future: Do you even have to own that movie you really love, or would you be more than content being able to access it as a rental at any time you want, practically anywhere you are, provided you pay a nominal monthly fee? Is "ownership" an essential element in consuming a form of entertainment?
Extra Tidbit: I have a pretty hefty collection of films at home, but it's a collection that hasn't had many new additions in the last couple of years...

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12:03PM on 10/25/2010
Not a fan. Netflix has put the streaming ahead of disc. Case in point: They used to get every Anchor Bay release yet aren't getting Altitude on its release date (tomorrow). AB doesn't have a delayed agreement with them and is a big DVD distributor so there's no excuse for not getting one of their titles.
Not a fan. Netflix has put the streaming ahead of disc. Case in point: They used to get every Anchor Bay release yet aren't getting Altitude on its release date (tomorrow). AB doesn't have a delayed agreement with them and is a big DVD distributor so there's no excuse for not getting one of their titles.
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1:38AM on 10/22/2010
Netflix is great! We just cancelled the cable and Netflix offers a lot of stuff we love to watch! Any new shows we want to watch online we can either download or stream the next day on Hulu or iTunes or through other means. So instead of paying for $100 for cable I pay $35 for the internet and $8.99 for Netflix through my Wii. It's wonderful and I can't wait to get a HDTV someday to just hook up my PC to it making things even easier. I just wish Netflix offered more recent TV shows, then it
Netflix is great! We just cancelled the cable and Netflix offers a lot of stuff we love to watch! Any new shows we want to watch online we can either download or stream the next day on Hulu or iTunes or through other means. So instead of paying for $100 for cable I pay $35 for the internet and $8.99 for Netflix through my Wii. It's wonderful and I can't wait to get a HDTV someday to just hook up my PC to it making things even easier. I just wish Netflix offered more recent TV shows, then it would be perfect. If Hulu was on the Wii, I would go for it if can offer all our shows that we want to stream along with more movies and TV shows that Netflix doesn't have.
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10:19PM on 10/21/2010
$7.99 a month or 1 Time purchase of $20??

I have a DVD/ Blu Ray collection that is over 3000 strong. I enjoy buying the discs and storing them in my Media Room. I hope that Physical media never goes away, because some people collect stamps, some collect coins... i collect "Physical media"!
$7.99 a month or 1 Time purchase of $20??

I have a DVD/ Blu Ray collection that is over 3000 strong. I enjoy buying the discs and storing them in my Media Room. I hope that Physical media never goes away, because some people collect stamps, some collect coins... i collect "Physical media"!
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9:33PM on 10/21/2010
There's a reason why they killed blockbuster and left it in a ditch, but I doubt Netflix would hurt physicaal media.
There's a reason why they killed blockbuster and left it in a ditch, but I doubt Netflix would hurt physicaal media.
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6:23PM on 10/21/2010
Netflix is amazing. Cheap, endless selection of shows and movies, ships quick, and streaming works awesome. I bet cable companies HATE Netflix though. I actually just cancelled mine the other day because I found myself never watching it, and I can stream my MLB and UFC through the net...so bye-bye $90 cable bill.

And as far as your question goes...I am the type who will still buy movies. I like to have something concrete I can hold in my hands and display on my wall. I will say that Netflix
Netflix is amazing. Cheap, endless selection of shows and movies, ships quick, and streaming works awesome. I bet cable companies HATE Netflix though. I actually just cancelled mine the other day because I found myself never watching it, and I can stream my MLB and UFC through the net...so bye-bye $90 cable bill.

And as far as your question goes...I am the type who will still buy movies. I like to have something concrete I can hold in my hands and display on my wall. I will say that Netflix has cut back on the number of movies I buy (I now only buy the absolute must haves for me and my wife, instead of everything like I used to) but they will never get rid of my buying altogether.
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5:49PM on 10/21/2010
My collection is still growing. Added a few more the other day. Ownig is still the best way to go IMHO
My collection is still growing. Added a few more the other day. Ownig is still the best way to go IMHO
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5:44PM on 10/21/2010
I use the streaming service a lot, but even the movies they stream in HD are no where near the quality of blu-ray, plus Netflix has a time limit on most movies they stream. after so long, they are no longer available for streaming and if you want to watch them, you have to order the dvd.
I use the streaming service a lot, but even the movies they stream in HD are no where near the quality of blu-ray, plus Netflix has a time limit on most movies they stream. after so long, they are no longer available for streaming and if you want to watch them, you have to order the dvd.
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1:56PM on 10/21/2010

well...

which is great news if you enjoy movies with titles containing roman numerals III and higher, Finnish works, 18 month old TV shows, and documentaries on sea life. Until they expand their selection to include popular, current, and new DVD releases and current (current season) TV, streaming-only services aren't worth it.
which is great news if you enjoy movies with titles containing roman numerals III and higher, Finnish works, 18 month old TV shows, and documentaries on sea life. Until they expand their selection to include popular, current, and new DVD releases and current (current season) TV, streaming-only services aren't worth it.
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1:50PM on 10/21/2010

well...

which is great news if you enjoy movies with titles containing roman numerals III and higher, Finnish works, 18 month old TV shows, and documentaries on sea life. Until they expand their selection to include popular, current, and new DVD releases and current (current season) TV, streaming-only services aren't worth it.
which is great news if you enjoy movies with titles containing roman numerals III and higher, Finnish works, 18 month old TV shows, and documentaries on sea life. Until they expand their selection to include popular, current, and new DVD releases and current (current season) TV, streaming-only services aren't worth it.
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1:30PM on 10/21/2010
Yeah this is legit. You may say its a push towards no more physical media but I disagree. For watch instantly I only watch TV shows, cartoons or recent crappy movies. I mean they had Blood Simple on up until this month but I wasnt going to watch a movie like that for the first time on my computer... Plus their player is too choppy. My girl has it hooked up to her Wii but the sound sucks and is really shitty when it comes to navigation.
Yeah this is legit. You may say its a push towards no more physical media but I disagree. For watch instantly I only watch TV shows, cartoons or recent crappy movies. I mean they had Blood Simple on up until this month but I wasnt going to watch a movie like that for the first time on my computer... Plus their player is too choppy. My girl has it hooked up to her Wii but the sound sucks and is really shitty when it comes to navigation.
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12:18PM on 10/21/2010
I'm all up for this. Speaking from a guy living on a college dorm (moving out soon) it's a real bugger when dealing with the University's postal system. Sure, I'd take buying my Blu-Rays over anything else but at the moment (and the lack of funds) I'm opting for streaming. Streaming only sounds like a nice way to just surf through a dozen or so flicks through the weekend without fault. This is only temporary though.
I'm all up for this. Speaking from a guy living on a college dorm (moving out soon) it's a real bugger when dealing with the University's postal system. Sure, I'd take buying my Blu-Rays over anything else but at the moment (and the lack of funds) I'm opting for streaming. Streaming only sounds like a nice way to just surf through a dozen or so flicks through the weekend without fault. This is only temporary though.
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11:45AM on 10/21/2010
I agree wtih a lot of people here in that I love how blu-rays look & sound and the streaming isn't even close to that quality. I also like a lot of the special features. I still use Netflix, but don't take advantage of the streaming option very often.
I agree wtih a lot of people here in that I love how blu-rays look & sound and the streaming isn't even close to that quality. I also like a lot of the special features. I still use Netflix, but don't take advantage of the streaming option very often.
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11:03AM on 10/21/2010
I'd much rather own the movie. I think netflix is cool and all but i dropped it when they first started streaming to xbox and the selection was awful. I heard its gotten a lot better though.
I'd much rather own the movie. I think netflix is cool and all but i dropped it when they first started streaming to xbox and the selection was awful. I heard its gotten a lot better though.
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10:31AM on 10/21/2010

disc pls!

while this is cool and all, until HD streaming can truly look like my Blu's, i'll opt for discs.
while this is cool and all, until HD streaming can truly look like my Blu's, i'll opt for discs.
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10:26AM on 10/21/2010
I would like to see them offer some type of premium streaming service that included tv shows that aren't necessarily on DVD yet, like Hulu. Maybe even something that could bring HBO into the picture. As nutty as it sounds, it would be great to see Netflix become some sort of ala-carte cable company.
I would like to see them offer some type of premium streaming service that included tv shows that aren't necessarily on DVD yet, like Hulu. Maybe even something that could bring HBO into the picture. As nutty as it sounds, it would be great to see Netflix become some sort of ala-carte cable company.
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1:56PM on 10/21/2010
You won't ever see that, HBO has thier own pay service HBOGO, and so does Cinimax...
You won't ever see that, HBO has thier own pay service HBOGO, and so does Cinimax...
10:07AM on 10/21/2010
90% of what i watch is streamed via netflix anymore. I even cancelled cable.

I actually keep forgetting I even have the discs anymore - so I've already downgraded my plan to the 1 dvd at a time + unlimited streaming to save money. I've had the same copy of A Simple Plan rented out for like 6 months now because I keep forgetting to return it.

A cheaper streaming-only option would be perfect for me (although I really should get back in the habbit of just returning the netflix discs so
90% of what i watch is streamed via netflix anymore. I even cancelled cable.

I actually keep forgetting I even have the discs anymore - so I've already downgraded my plan to the 1 dvd at a time + unlimited streaming to save money. I've had the same copy of A Simple Plan rented out for like 6 months now because I keep forgetting to return it.

A cheaper streaming-only option would be perfect for me (although I really should get back in the habbit of just returning the netflix discs so that I can enjoy the rest of the content Netflix has to offer. They really do need to increase what is available for streaming).
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9:47AM on 10/21/2010

It's better than TV!

IDK why people are saying there aren't enough titles. There's more out there to watch besides new releases, you know? My instant Q has something like 490 titles in it, and half of those are entire seasons/series of shows. Having said that, I'd never go streaming only. Too much to miss out on. To answer your questions, George, if I love a film enough, I'll buy it for sure. I'm the type that enjoys having collections to arrange, look at, and call my own. Don't know if I'd call it "essential," but
IDK why people are saying there aren't enough titles. There's more out there to watch besides new releases, you know? My instant Q has something like 490 titles in it, and half of those are entire seasons/series of shows. Having said that, I'd never go streaming only. Too much to miss out on. To answer your questions, George, if I love a film enough, I'll buy it for sure. I'm the type that enjoys having collections to arrange, look at, and call my own. Don't know if I'd call it "essential," but I definitely enjoy the ritual.
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9:17AM on 10/21/2010
I think it's a good option to have available to people, but it's not something I'd be willing to use just yet. As others have said, they need more titles first, and I'd also like to see some DVD special features available too. I like the behind-the-scenes stuff and commentaries. Something you only get on DVD and Blu-Ray right now.
I think it's a good option to have available to people, but it's not something I'd be willing to use just yet. As others have said, they need more titles first, and I'd also like to see some DVD special features available too. I like the behind-the-scenes stuff and commentaries. Something you only get on DVD and Blu-Ray right now.
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8:53AM on 10/21/2010
The only beef I have with the streaming is the lack of new titles available, you still need the to get the disc version. Then you have to wait forever for a new title, I still havent even gotten iron man 2 yet. Ill still buy blu ray for movies I really love.
The only beef I have with the streaming is the lack of new titles available, you still need the to get the disc version. Then you have to wait forever for a new title, I still havent even gotten iron man 2 yet. Ill still buy blu ray for movies I really love.
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8:43AM on 10/21/2010

Gotta be honest...

I'm not impressed with the service here in Canada. The selection has been shit so far and they haven't added any new titles in two weeks.
I'm not impressed with the service here in Canada. The selection has been shit so far and they haven't added any new titles in two weeks.
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10:31AM on 10/21/2010
They add new titles once a month.
They add new titles once a month.
6:51AM on 10/21/2010
For certain titles it's required you have the disc. Poppin' in my fav. Jackie Chan flick(s) is A+.
For certain titles it's required you have the disc. Poppin' in my fav. Jackie Chan flick(s) is A+.
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