Netflix continues to make it easier to stream movies and television with its new Watch Instantly Unlimited plan. For $7.99 a month, you get unlimited access to their ever-growing library of TV episodes and movies: watch as often as you want on multiple devices including your Mac, PC, or any of the 100+ Netflix-enabled devices out there like Roku, Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation3, Boxee, AppleTV, Tivo, and more.
Hugely Popular on Netflix: Streaming Movies & TV Episodes
The new $7.99 plan doesn’t include DVD rentals, and it’s worth remembering that only a fraction of the 125,000+ titles available on disk can be seen via streaming.
But Netflix has grown their Watch Instantly library dramatically in the past year, and users have responded in kind. Recent estimates indicate that up to 20% of all evening web traffic in North America is from Netflix members streaming their stuff.
High Shipping Costs Drive Plans for Online DVD Rentals
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And with its new price increases for DVD plans, Netflix continues to make streaming more attractive to more people. Netflix members who currently are signed up for a DVD delivery plan will see their monthly fees increase by a buck a month (or more!) in January 2011.
The fee increases are an effort to offset the increased cost of sending DVDs through the mail. Netflix will spend about $600 million on shipping in 2010, and expects that number to grow by another $100 million over the next few years.
The Future for Netflix: Watch Instantly
As Netflix continues its efforts to make streaming easier, cheaper, and more rewarding, the lower-price plans that offer unlimited instant streaming with fewer or no disks are sure to become more and more popular. As CEO Reed Hastings foretold years ago,
“We named the company ‘Netflix’, not ‘DVDs by Mail’ because we knew that eventually we would deliver movies directly over the Internet. DVDs will be around a long time, but we’re building for the day when they’re not.” He recently updated this prediction, saying “We are very proud to announce that by every measure we are now a streaming company, which also offers DVD-by-mail.”