Netflix today announced a new streaming-only subscription plan for U.S. users, including those who stream through major video game consoles, and pledged to devote more of its resources to licensing streaming content.
The new streaming-only plan comes at the lowest ever monthly cost for Netflix service -- $7.99 a month -- reflecting the lack of DVD shipping costs, according to a post on Netflix's official blog
Netflix plans that include DVD rentals by mail will increase in price by at least $1 a month, according to the company. The new pricing for these plans will go into effect immediately for new users, but not until January for existing users.
In a press release, Netflix said the current financial quarter has seen users watching more content over internet streaming than on shipped DVDs. As such, the company said it will be investing more money in acquiring licensing rights to streaming content than to acquiring DVDs in the current quarter.
"We are now primarily a streaming video company delivering a wide selection of TV shows and films over the Internet," said Reed Hastings, Netflix co-founder and CEO.
Netflix has offered a streaming-only service in Canada since September, and said today it plans to further expand its international offerings in the coming year.
This January, Netflix attributed
much of its healthy subscriber growth in the previous year to the launch of its streaming service on the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii systems.
Earlier this year, analyst Michael Pachter estimated
that offering Netflix streaming services on the Xbox 360, Wii and PS3 will earn the company 3 million new subscribers in 2010.
The service was used by 3 million Wii owners
alone, as of October.