Many customers who currently pay $1 extra per month for HD discs will soon have to shell out $4 per month.
Recession be damned -- Netflix on Monday disclosed that it's increasing the premium that subscribers must pay to receive high-definition Blu-ray Disc movies by 300% for its most popular plan.
Starting next month, the online movie house is raising the Blu-ray premium from $1 per month to $4 per month on its three discs at-a-time plan. Fees for other plans also will increase.
"The number of Blu-ray titles has increased significantly and will continue to do so," Netflix said in a note e-mailed to Blu-ray subscribers Monday.
"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," Netflix said in the e-mail.
Under the new plan, subscribers who were paying $16.99 per month for three-discs-at-a-time plan, plus the $1 Blu-ray premium, will now have to pay $20.99 per month in total, representing a 24% overall increase in the cost of the plan.
Not surprisingly, many Netflix customers aren't happy with the price hike.
"I'm disappointed you've chosen to up the cost so much. $1 was fine, but I think it is a mistake for increases larger than $3," wrote a customer who identified himself as Keith on the official Netflix blog.
"It's good to see you're finally adding to the title selection, but with a cost increase of this size you're going to need to substantially increase your Blu-ray availability. The only movies with waits in my queue are Blu-ray disks," wrote Keith.
Another user, XenoChron, also complained that Blu-ray discs are often in short supply on Netflix.
"I hope the increase in prices is backed by an increase in availability. I'm still having repeated instances of Blu-ray being skipped in my queue because of demand. Can I assume this is going to end now?" XenoChron wrote.
Netflix rival Blockbuster Online doesn't charge extra for Blu-ray movies. The question is whether the company will hold to that policy in an effort to lure customers from Netflix, or institute a surcharge of its own in order to cover the costs of increasing its selection.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security EnterpriseTo learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Digital Transformation Myths & TruthsTransformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.