Like every other Netflix subscriber that opted to get Blu-Ray disks, I got the email today from Netflix detailing the price increase. And like every other subscriber I am most unhappy. For me it’s going up from the $1 per month Blu-Ray surcharge to $4 per month. That’s an extra $36 per year.
Netflix’s stated reason: “Blu-ray discs are substantially more expensive than standard definition DVDs” That is BS. I just checked the prices on Quantum of Solace at Amazon. The two-disc collector’s edition on Blu-Ray is $19.99 while the two-disc collector’s edition on DVD is $20.99. The Blu-Ray is actually cheaper! Maybe those are sale prices, but it shows the downward trend in Blu-Ray pricing. Then consider the fact that Netflix is buying in bulk and not paying anything near retail on a per disk basis. I’d like to know how much more Blu-Ray disks actually cost Netflix.
My Netflix account is $16.99 per month, with the new Blu-Ray charge it will be $20.99, about the cost of a Blu-Ray movie. The major difference is that I can go buy the Quantum of Solace Blu-Ray today, but I can’t get it from Netflix for a “very long” time. Wait times for new release Blu-Ray titles are always “Very Long Wait”. So I get to pay more money for what is already an inferior service offering. Couple that with the fact that I rarely get Blu-Ray movies from Netflix and this looks likes extortion. In the last year I’ve averaged about one Blu-Ray per month from Netflix, but now I’ll be paying a price that assumes all three of the rentals I have out are Blu-Ray. Even if I paid $1 per Blu-Ray, I’d still be paying less per year than the new price increase.
So what will I do? Vote with my wallet. Like many other Netflix customers, I’m dropping the Blu-Ray option. I’ve been keeping an eye on Twitter today, and from what I see people are pissed and aren’t going to pay the extra money. It’s not a lot of money, but money isn’t the point. It’s the idea that Netflix needs to charge extra for something that really doesn’t cost them that much, and the charge is not equitable based on usage. If every title I wanted to watch was available on Blu-Ray and I didn’t have to wait for them, I’d consider the extra charge. But that is not reality and the bulk of what I watch is not on Blu-Ray.
I’m joining the hordes of other Netflix subscribers and dropping the Blu-Ray option, and I’m reducing my DVD plan from 3 to 2 to save even more money. I think I’ll donate that $40+ year to a charity that could really use the money. Netflix seriously needs to reconsider this massive blunder.