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Netflix jacks up rates, erects a fence between streaming and DVD-only offerings

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Remember when you could get unlimited Netflix streaming for $8 a month and add a DVD for $2 more? You'll pay $16 for the same content starting September 1st, or immediately if you sign up now. Netflix just announced that it's separating its online streaming and DVD plans entirely, offering either streaming or a single renewable DVD — your choice — for $7.99 a month, and you'll have to pay double if you want both plans at once. (The company's also splitting its management team along the same lines -- basically, Netflix is spinning off its DVD business internally.)

Netflix is calling the changes a pro-customer move, to "ensure a long life for our DVDs by mail offering," and cites "a very large continuing demand" for the discs. We'd certainly imagine so — those DVDs were the only bandages covering the gaping holes in the firm's lackluster streaming collection. As Netflix has grown and begun to expand internationally, the firm's continually called itself a streaming company and hinted that physical discs were on their way out, but it seems that as long as customers are willing to foot a substantially higher bill, Netflix is willing to keep them around.

Source: The Netflix Blog, via Engadget