Netflix increases price of Blu-Ray rentals

Netflix just sent out an email saying that it will increase its monthly charge for unlimited Blu-Ray access from $1 to $4 a month. Pow! (If you rent more than one movie at once, the rates scale ) Text of the email below:

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 3 DVDs at-a-time (Unlimited) plan will increase from $1
a month to $4 a month. The price of your 3 DVDs at-a-time (Unlimited)
plan is not changing and remains at $16.99 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 $4 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

Why are Blu-Ray discs so expensive, again? It seems stupid for the Blu people to advertise piracy so openly.

Update: Engadget has a chart, useful to those who rent more than one movie at a time.

About Rob Beschizza

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26 Responses to Netflix increases price of Blu-Ray rentals

  1. exhilaration says:

    I’ve gotta agree with BD haters. Regular DVD’s look just find on my 27″ standard-def TV. I’m pretty sure those of you that elected to spend the big bucks on HDTV’s and BD players can afford to lay out a few more bucks a month for those ridiculously overpriced discs. Better you folks pay for that luxury than Netflix tries to spread out the cost over all subscriber.

  2. madzack says:

    just dropped bluray access from my account. the extra 6 dollars a month is just not worth it for the 1 or 2 bluray discs i get from them.

  3. AirPillo says:

    Fuckers!

  4. Purly says:

    I stopped blu-ray delivery as soon as they implemented a separate charge for it. If everyone did, netflix would go back on their decision.

  5. bowlerhatdinosaur says:

    I stopped getting blu-rays from netflix when they were charging $1 extra per month. I’m not made of money!

  6. Bevatron Repairman says:

    I take one-at-a-time, and don’t really care that much about the $1 rate increase. Still, I’ve seen most of the movies I really wanted to see in Blu-Ray and the next twenty or so movies on my list don’t demand it. So I’ll turn it off until I need it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    My email said it was going up to $2 / mo, not $4. I wonder if they’re sending out different pricing for different customers?

  8. General Specific says:

    Netflix sent me that email like three or four months ago. I cancelled the Blu-Ray option straight away.

  9. Anonymous says:

    I agree. There’s no upside for a casual viewer. I think this is a huge blow to blueray adoption. Can Joe Sixpack really tell the difference between Blu-Ray and DVD? Maybe. Is it worth $6 a month? Doubtful.

    I just removed Blu-Ray from my account and from what I’ve seen around the blogosphere, many others are doing the same.

  10. Lou3000 says:

    Really feeling stupid for buying a PS3 now. The 360 gets more play, but I saw that Netflix was offering BluRays and on the 50″ 1080p set I can tell a different.

    Unfortunately now BluRay will be relegated only to movies that I really love.

  11. mgfarrelly says:

    The wailing and gnashing of teeth is misdirected at Netflix.

    Netflix is a rare thing, a responsive company where you can actually speak to humans about your problems. They offer a range of service, I’m at the cheapest that allows streaming since that’s all I use, and every issue I’ve had with them has been resolved with one phone call.

    Blu-ray discs are stupidly expensive. Even if you have all the tech set-up to get the full experience only movies made in the past 5-10 years will deliver much of a noticeable difference. Yes, Transformers will look amazing. Greeeeaaaat.

  12. Clay says:

    If this means the end of “short wait” for BDs, I’ll pay it. The moment I see another one of those, though, it’s coming straight off the account.

  13. Felix Mitchell says:

    Oh to be a copywriter. I love (do not love) the leap from “We’ve bought more Blu-Ray discs, and these cost more than DVDs” to “So we’ve quadrupled the price.”

    The way they’ve explained it makes no sense. DVDs always cost less, that’s not a recent change.

  14. Senna1 says:

    if you’ve a 50″ television and a Blu-Ray player you should easily be able to afford the just over a half of a subway footlong sandwich’s value of cash for your extravagance. If you can’t, pawn your tv and player and get something reasonable…. like the sandwich I mentioned a few seconds ago.

    Me? I’ll continue to enjoy my plain ol’ dvds on my plain ol’ television with the 17 hours of streaming movies.

  15. RedShirt77 says:

    I think they are doing themselves as much damage as they are blu-ray. BR is probably the last gasp of the physical movie medium. Once that get abandoned, they are just doing on demand on a service other then cable, which does have a few monopolies they will need to contend with.

  16. je55ica says:

    It’s the second price hike for Blu-Ray in less than 6 months. It’s a price gouging switch and bait and shouldn’t be tolerated.

    Did you happen to notice their stock jumped 5% in the few hours after the price hike announcement went out?

    I’m sick of these automatic price hikes for loyal customers. I dropped Blu-ray and then took my account down to the bare minimum – one-at-a-time with Instant streaming.

  17. mr.skeleton says:

    Hear ye hear ye! I love blu-ray and don’t care if I pay a couple more bucks and I’ll show you why:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/mr_skeleton/tags/bluray/

    Just a few screengrabs I recently took (via AnyDVD HD). Maybe you have to work with video to appreciate a 30gb 1080p stream, but a good blu-ray transfer is practically like having a 35mm print at the ready. Note that these screengrabs aren’t even full res!

  18. ChunkyMonkeyBrain says:

    the more things that contribute to the killing of this useless format, the better. Bravo, Netflix!

  19. Jeff Kramer says:

    I cancelled my account after I got 4 bluray discs in a row that were cracked. I wish there was an Austin local alternative like GreenCine. GameFly works so well and Netflix so poorly, I just don’t get it.

  20. MayorAwesome says:

    Yup, I dropped my Blu-Ray and put my service down to the bare minimum too. I was pissed at the first rate hike, but this one is just too much.

  21. dculberson says:

    It does make sense to charge more to lend a more expensive product, but it’s always a bitter pill to swallow for consumers.

    Think about it from Netflix’s end: these discs are just as fragile, it not more so, as regular DVDs. They cost 2x – 3x as much as regular DVDs. There are fewer customers willing to borrow them compared to regular DVDs. So their costs are higher and utilization rates lower; of course they need to charge more. They should have done it from the start, though. It’s very difficult to raise prices quickly and not piss off your customer.

    If the studios would make the right decision and bring their prices down to reality then I bet we would see wider adoption of Blu-Ray.

  22. yri says:

    Betamaxed.

  23. jacques45 says:

    As one who doesn’t have a BluRay player, I’m glad that NetFlix isn’t raising the regular DVD rates to subsidize those who paid extra for a fancy player and should be willing to pay more for a higher quality viewing experience.

    Be angry at the studios for charging 2x as much for something that costs them almost the same to produce.

  24. dacker says:

    I called Netflix Customer Service and voiced my opinion — that the increase is excessive (I’m OK with a $1 increase, not $3) and that the timing is bad, with the economy and such (I was laid-off 10 days ago — one of the 11% here in Oregon.

  25. dhuff says:

    Meh. Regular DVDs look just dandy on my 52″ Samsung when played by the Pioneer DV-400V upconverting DVD player we have.

    So no Blu-Ray option for me…

  26. Brother Provisional says:

    Damn. I had been toying with the upgrade, since I watch almost exclusively on my PS3 these days, but now netflix can kiss my cash (which I won’t be spending for the monthly upgrade).

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