Netflix Separates Unlimited DVDs & Streaming [Update]

NetflixNetflix announced new rate plans for the company’s DVD-by-mail and Internet streaming services on Monday. The new rates make leave the unlimited streaming service at US$7.99 per month, but the company created a DVD-only plan at $7.99, and made it more expensive to get both, at $15.98.

The reason for the change is that it turns out there are still plenty of folks who want DVDs. When unlimited streaming was announced, in November of 2010, users could could fork over an extra $2 per month to get DVDs as “add-on” to that streaming service.

“Given the long life we think DVDs by mail will have,” the company said in a blog post, “treating DVDs as a $2 add on to our unlimited streaming plan neither makes great financial sense nor satisfies people who just want DVDs.”

In other words, it turns out that DVDs are quite dead after all, despite the Apple TV, despite Netflix streaming itself, despite Netflix being available through Apple TV, despite Apple’s refusal to support Blu-ray on its Macs, despite Hulu, despite Amazon’s streaming service, and despite Google TV, not that anyone actually has that.

The $7.99 DVD plan is a one-at-a-time price, and users can still choose to bump up the number of DVDs they can have out at any one time for more money.

The Mac Observer asked Netflix if the plans would affect the number of movies available for streaming. As of now, many movies, including a lot of recent titles, are not available as streaming movies.

A Netflix spokesperson effectively said that there were no changes to be announced for what is currently offered as streaming content, saying, “Netflix is adding to the streaming catalog all the time but some titles are not available for streaming because they are tied up with other license windows.”

[Update: The article was updated with comment from Netflix about which movies would be available as streaming titles. - Editor]