Los Gatos, Calif. -
notified its subscribers Monday that it was raising monthly subscription fees for its DVD-by-mail programs and is adding a $7.99 per month streaming-only option for the first time.
Rates for the DVDs and DVD/Blu-ray-by-mail packages will increase by 11 percent to 18 percent, depending on the package option subscribers have agreed to, and will appear on billing statements on or after Jan. 2, 2011, the company said.
The rates apply immediately to new subscribers.
Netflix said the changes resulted from a steady increase in the amount of streamed content being offered to and viewed by subscribers, who are now said to watch more movies via the Internet than on DVD discs.
"We are now primarily a streaming video company delivering a wide selection of TV shows and films over the Internet," Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said in announcing the changes. "Today's action reflects the tremendous customer value we've injected into streaming from Netflix, our initial success with a pure streaming service in Canada for $7.99 a month and what our U.S. members tell us they want."
The DVD-by-mail plans, many of which include streaming service, will rise from $8.99 to $9.99 per month for the unlimited plan (one DVD out at a time); from $13.99 to $14.99 for two DVDs out at a time; from $16.99 to $19.99 for three DVDs out at a time.
Netflix adds a couple of dollars charges extra per month for those who want Blu-ray Discs.
Netflix reported having 16.9 million subscribers at the end of September 2010.
The Watch Now Internet streaming service is now available on more than 200 devices, including TiVo DVRs, Roku, Apple TV, Google TV, Microsoft Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation3, Nintendo Wii, and many Internet-connected TVs and Blu-ray Disc players.