Netflix Is Testing Out a Cheaper, Standard-Definition Streaming Plan

By January 1, 2014
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If you’ve gone streaming-only with your Netflix account, the home entertainment giant (and, considering the ease with which the service can be used, we suppose they are also the bus entertainment giant, the long car ride entertainment giant, and the waiting at the doctor’s office entertainment giant), you might soon have another downgrade option that could knock a couple of bucks off your bill while also providing a lesser service. Does that sound appealing? Not so much, at least when you compare it to the kind of service just one more buck a month currently buys you.

Both Adweek and Variety (via /Film) report that the company is currently testing out a new package that, for the low price of $6.99 per month, will provide users with a standard-definition streaming option that allows only one simultaneous stream. That may sound like a fun, cheap option for movie and TV lovers, but considering that the company’s current $7.99 a month option offers both HD video and two simultaneous streams, the new price sure doesn’t sound low enough. (Also, just think of the arguments you could have with family and friends who are intent on piggybacking on your Netflix – no more streaming for them if you’re watching something! On second thought, that actually doesn’t sound so bad, freeloaders be damned.)

Netflix is also testing out another new package for a bit more cash – for $9.99 a month, users can get up to three simultaneous HD streams. (The company currently offers a plan that costs $11.99 a month and boasts up to four simultaneous HD streams.)

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Breaking that down: knock a dollar off your bill, get worse video and less streams, or add two bucks and get high-definition and one more stream. We know which one sounds best to us – how about you? (Alternately, you could just stick with your current plan, considering both the $7.99 and $11.99 plans sound pretty comprehensive for most viewers.)

As of now, the two new packages are only available to certain customers and, hey, they might not even go into full circulation, as Netflix chief communications officer Jonathan Friedland comments that they ”may not be something we ever offer generally.” Even if these new plans are not offered across the board, Netflix’s testing of them does indicate the a new price hike might be in the cards, setting up the $6.99 a month as the bottom barrel option that could be more appealing if that $7.99 a month rockets up to $8.99 or even $9.99 a month.

Do you use Netflix for streaming only? How much would you be willing to pay for the service?

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Kate Erbland
Kate Erbland is a staff writer for movie news and reviews at GeekNation. Her work can also be found at Film School Rejects, ScreenCrush, Vanity Fair, The Dissolve, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, amNewYork, New York Daily News, Dame Magazine, Mental Floss, Film.com, MSN Movies, and Boxoffice Magazine. She lives in New York City with two cats, two turtles, one boyfriend, and a frightening number of sensible canvas totes.
  • Marcus Mudie

    I am so used to watching netflix in high definition, that I can even remember what standard definition looks like.