I just happened over to Engadget and saw their post saying Netflix is jacking their instant streaming plus one DVD plan from $9.99 to $15.98 per month. This change is going in place immediately for new users, and September 1st for existing subscribers. The price increase reflects the price change of their streaming only and DVD only plans to $7.99 each. Basically, they’re making you pay the new, full price for each service with no discount for opting to go with both. Naturally, I had to go on the Internet and complain!

Part of me wants to say “Cancel netflix right right.” The other half slapped the first half. I don’t know what to do. I may go back to a disc only option. Streaming hasn’t had good movies in a very long time. Hell I only need star wars anyway
– Bradley Mackey

Now, $16 is hardly a lot of money for ‘unlimited’ streaming and one DVD rental at a time, considering you can go through 1-2 discs each week, in addition to whatever you watch instantly. Note, however, I say ‘unlimited’. Sure, you can watch as much as you want, but you have to choose from their ever-decreasing selection of meager offerings, and I’m not the only one to notice: many users are echoing the same sentiments in the Engadget comments, and even on Netflix’s official post regarding the price increase.

Fret not, faithful reader

Disappointing as it is, though, there are other options. Many people subscribe to and enjoy Hulu Plus, although there isn’t much on there that we’d enjoy right now. Others suggest Amazon Prime’s Instant Video streaming service. Either of these may work great for you (perhaps even both!), but what I think we’ll be moving toward is not another streaming service. Rather, I think the future – at least the more immediate one – lies with Redbox. Yes, instant streaming is definitely a beautiful thing, but until content creators become more willing to offer their work over a digital medium, the offerings are going to remain disappointingly slim.

Enter Redbox

Redbox gives you the ability to search for titles online, make reservations, pick them up at the location most convenient for you, and even return them at any other Redbox drop off – all for the stupid-low price of $1/night ($1.50 for Blue-rays). To top it off? You can now rent games, too. Will they have every title you want? Probably not. But with the à la carte pricing, you really can’t go wrong.

Bringin’ it on home

What are we going to do? Well, while we wait for streaming services such as Netflix to get better content offerings, we’ll be canceling our subscription and going with Redbox. The flexibility and freedom to pay for only the titles you want is a huge advantage over paying for a paltry selection of limited offerings. There is a little more risk, in that you can’t ‘preview’ a movie like you can with instant streaming, but I think that trade-off is worth it compared to the alternatives right now.

Funny, I got their email notifying me of the price change as I was writing this… Thanks for providing a quick link to change (read: cancel) my plan.