Netflix now charges new members $8.99 per month instead of $7.99
You snooze, you lose. Netflix last month said it was planning to raise the price of its subscription-based streaming service by up to $2 for new members, and sure enough, it made good on that promise today, though it settled on a $1 price increase instead of $2. A typical Netflix subscription now runs $8.99 per month, though if you're willing to limit yourself to standard definition (SD) content on one screen at a time, you can still subscribe at the old $7.99 per month rate.
Some users who sign up for Netflix will see a new $6.99 per month plan that limits streaming to one screen at a time. That's a dollar off the regular subscription fee of $7.99 per month, which Netflix now states will allow streaming on up to two screens at a time. Yet a third option is to pay $11.99 per month for the ability to watch streaming content on as many as four screens at the same time, a tier that could come in handy for families.
You're not the only one who wasted a weekend watching Netflix
The all-you-can consume nature of subscription-based streaming services like Netflix makes it all too easy and convenient to sit back, relax, and spend an entire evening (or weekend) watching movies and TV shows. If you've never participated in "binge watching" behavior, you're in the minority, at least according to a recent survey conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Netflix.
Cable companies have been at odds with Netflix and similar services that may be stealing customers away, but all that could change in short order. Apparently Netflix is in discussions in with at least two pay television providers about a deal that would make the streaming service available as an app integrated into set-top boxes. Netflix isn't going anywhere, so perhaps it's in everyone's best interest if the two sides bury the hatchet.
Forget about making room on your entertainment center for yet another set-top box, Roku's Streaming Stick packs the same functionality into a package that's no bigger than a typical USB flash drive. Roku first unveiled the device at the beginning of the year with a promise to ship it in the second half of 2012 for anywhere from $50 to $100. Making good on that promise, Roku today said its Streaming Stick will be available to purchase in October for $99.99.
With Google's recently launched Nexus 7 tablet encroaching on what had been Amazon's territory led by the Kindle Fire, the e-tailer is busy beefing up what it hopes will prove a trump card. You can't stream Amazon Prime Instant Video to the Nexus 7, but you can on the Kindle Fire (provided you didn't root the device and feed it Ice Cream Sandwich), which will now enjoy access to an even larger catalog courtesy of an expanded content licensing agreement with NBCUniversal and New Media Distribution.
Several changes to the way Hulu operates could be in store for the streaming video service, according to a leaked internal memo deemed confidential. The three-page document indicates a desire by parent companies News Corp. and Disney to take control of how Hulu operates, and specifically in regards to freeing up current-season content from the shackles of exclusivity so that previously restricted programming could be licensed to third parties, such as YouTube.
Hulu Plus found a new way to be streamed into your living room. Nintendo today announced it has teamed up with the streaming video service so that Wii owners can now subscribe to and access Hulu Plus for $8/month and instantly stream popular TV shows like Family Guy, Glee, The Office, Modern Family, and more, as well as hundreds of movies, on their Wii console.
With all the fuss over Netflix's price hikes and near-catastrophic amputation of its DVD-by-mail arm, after the all the pitchfork wielding, the mass exodus, falling stock price, and everything else company CEO Reed Hastings and the rest of the Netflix crew would like to forget about, subscribers still kicked back on their couches and tuned in to what the streaming outfit had to offer.
It seemed like Netflix had it all not all that long ago. A thriving DVD-by-mail rental business, a streaming service that grew more popular than movie studios anticipated, and for the most part, happy subscribers. All that was before Netflix shot itself in the foot with a laser guided cannon, and it's been hopping awkwardly ever since. Watching Netflix stumble around isn't the kind of thing that leads to investor confidence, nor is warning that the worst might be yet to come.