By Stephen Schenck | July 12, 2011 7:28 PM
Today, Netflix subscribers started receiving email notifications that the company was about to make a pretty drastic shift in its plan structure and pricing. It’s largely bad news for everyone involved, but the one group that will get away pretty much unscathed are those who use Netflix for streaming video only, including those of you who enjoy the service on your smartphones.
Basically, streaming is being separated from by-mail disc rentals. Initially, you’ll remember, streaming was an added bonus that came on top of your normal disc-rental plan. After it became hugely successful (reports vary, but it’s been claimed that Netflix traffic makes up a sizable fraction of US internet traffic), Netflix started offering a cheaper streaming-only plan for the growing number of users who preferred the speedy access to TV and films that streaming afforded them.
It’s almost surprising that it took this long, but Netflix has finally realized the full value of its services, and now everyone who wants streaming will pay the same $8; if you also want discs-by-mail, you’re looking at paying at least another $8 a month, for one disc at a time.
Does news of this change make any of you Netflix subscribers want to give up your DVDs and go streaming-only? After all, with the growing compatibility of the Android app, you’ve got more choices for how to stream Netflix than ever before.