has done a really decent job of tying itself to the gaming community, as any Xbox 360 owner with a Gold Live account and anyone with a PS3 knows the value that the company offers. However, CNet had an article
today noting that every plan that Netflix offers will have an additional surcharge added to get Blu-Ray movies. Currently, it only costs a Netflix subscriber a flat $1 fee regardless of which plan they are under.
However, starting April 26th every plan will see at least a $1 increase for Blu-ray (minimum of $2 fee) and up to a $9 increase. The three most popular packages (1 DVD out ‘unlimited’ for $8.99, 2 DVDs out ‘unlimited’ for $13.99 and 3 DVDs out ‘unlimited’ for $16.99) will see the $1 monthly charge for Blu-Ray increase to $2, $3 and $4 respectively.
Netflix provided CNet with the excuse that the Blu-Rays are more expensive, which may be true to a degree, but sure sounds like a lot of BS rhetoric to me as bulk sales of the discs should help offset any increase. For what it is worth, Blockbuster does not charge extra at all (currently) for Blu-Ray titles. If I was not utilizing the streaming to my Xbox 360, it would be very tempting to dump Netflix and go to Blockbuster to rent my Blu-Rays for my PS3.
[Update: Dan] Added the super-special e-mail I was sent today by Netflix to let me know they would be uping my rates for Blu-Ray....
You are receiving this email because you added unlimited Blu-ray access to your account for $1 a month. The number of Blu-ray titles has increased significantly and will continue to do so. As we buy more, you are able to choose from a rapidly expanding selection of Blu-ray titles. And as you've probably heard, Blu-ray discs are substantially more expensive than standard definition DVDs.
As a result, the monthly charge for Blu-ray access is increasing for most plans and will now vary by plan. The charge for monthly Blu-ray access on your 1 DVD at-a-time (Unlimited) plan will increase from $1 a month to $2 a month. The price of your 1 DVD at-a-time (Unlimited) plan is not changing and remains at $8.99 a month.
The new charge for Blu-ray access will be automatically added to your next billing statement on or after April 27, 2009 and will be referenced in your Membership Terms and Details.
If you wish to continue unlimited Blu-ray access for $2 a month, you don't need to do anything. If not, you can remove Blu-ray access anytime by visiting Your Account.
If you have questions about this change or need any assistance, please call us anytime at 1-888-923-0898.
-The Netflix Team