When Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced they’re primarily a streaming company that happens to offer DVD-by-mail, people speculated that the Canadian streaming-only subscription would be available stateside within the next few months. Surprisingly, the streaming option seems to be available today, only a week after Hastings made the illuminating statement.
However, there seem to be inconsistencies regarding the streaming-only option’s availability and pricing.
The existence of the option isn’t being called into question, as shown by the graphic above that was taken straight from the Netflix sign-up information page, but the pricing structure and available locations of the service are what seem to be the points of contention.
An article over at Engadget highlights the inconsistencies with the plan, complete with screenshot, stating that viewing the subscription options page with different browsers in different operating systems ends up showing different prices for the same streaming option.
As a DVD-by-mail Netflix subscriber, I opened my account information to see the new subscription options available to me, and they don’t seem to reflect the options clearly listed in the Netflix graphic above or described on Netflix’s How it Works information page. Currently, the cheapest subscription available to me is an $8.99 option that includes one DVD-by-mail and unlimited streaming–the price the sign-up information page has listed for the streaming-only option. To add further confusion, my subscription options don’t list an unlimited streaming-only service, but instead lists a limited Starz Play only streaming service. As Engadget’s article states, my operating system (OS X Snow Leopard) and choice of browser (Google Chrome) might be responsible for the discrepancy in pricing and available options.
Either way, it seems Netflix has finally brought a streaming-only option to the US; what some might classify as an act paving the way toward a more streamlined, digital future.