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Netflix Subs Lobby for ‘DVD-Only’ Option

24 Jan, 2011 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Netflix may be slowly turning its back on disc rentals, but an increasing vocal group of subscribers are clamoring for a physical media-only alternative.

The Los Gatos, Calif.-based online disc rental pioneer last year launched streaming-only services in Canada and in the United States with much fanfare. It subsequently raised monthly prices on disc rentals in an effort to encourage subs to stream, rent fewer discs and generate incremental revenue needed to acquire digital content.

That prompted Netflix member “Aiden” to post a blog advocating the creation of a disc-only subscription plan for users who joined the service years ago for physical media, not digital.

“I would like to see an option from Netflix for physical media only,” Aiden wrote, “If you don't want [the availability] of instant gratification, then there should be an option — call it the slow lane service, if you like.”

A number of Netflix subscribers responded in favor of such an option, including “Nalez,” who wrote he/she would be in favor of paying $12 a month for a three-disc-at-a-time monthly plan.

Blogger “DonutDon” wrote that if Netflix converts to a streaming-only service with no packaged media, he would cancel his subscription.

Indeed, after Netflix announced it would increase monthly disc rental fees, about 10% of respondents in an online poll said they would terminate their membership.

“For me, DVD by mail is a must-have and what I signed up for back in 2003,” wrote “dAVe”. “Netflix streaming video … will only ever be a ‘nice’ option. Personally, I think throwing big money at time-constrained digital licensed content is a mistake. The farther Netflix moves to being a primarily streaming video company, the more likely my time as one of their subscribers will come to an end.”

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