Netflix: Pass the Grey Poupon, er Blu-ray

April 21, 2008

dvd-case

Well, this one kind of caught me off guard, apparently Netflix CEO Reed Hastings in a conference call said that since Blu-ray discs are more expensive to purchase versus standard definition DVD’s, the company will start charging more for accounts that rent Blu-ray discs.

Netflix did at one time offer both HD DVD and Blu-ray discs at no additional charge but since the format war ended, Netflix all but stopped offering the HD DVD’s back in February. Hastings seems to think that high-def users are more accustomed to paying more for their content, so charging extra is not that big of a deal.

On the other hand, I say effectively increasing the price of renting Blu-ray will do little to foster the kind of growth the format needs to become mainstream, perhaps that’s not really on Hastings to-do list. Oh well, my Netflix queue has been a barren wasteland of late anyway, maybe it’s time to take a breather and put my account on hold. Heck, I might cancel it altogether if these price increases are substantial.



Posted by Bryan Greenway | | Filed Under Blockbuster & Netflix, Blu-ray


Comments

  • paulc

    The issue with that “competition” was it forced users to buy both because of the exclusive deals both sides were making.

    Now that there’s one format, we see various mfgs trying to cash in by actually raising prices. BUT, that won’t last all that long as it should generate huge resistance, especially in the current economy.

    At this point, think about 400 buck players and… the same price for a PS3. Sure the PS3’s BD player may be kind of bare bones, but the value is hugely different.

    Once these guys see resistance, they should/will start dropping prices. THEN we will see some competition between those who make BD players…

  • paulc

    The issue with that “competition” was it forced users to buy both because of the exclusive deals both sides were making.

    Now that there’s one format, we see various mfgs trying to cash in by actually raising prices. BUT, that won’t last all that long as it should generate huge resistance, especially in the current economy.

    At this point, think about 400 buck players and… the same price for a PS3. Sure the PS3’s BD player may be kind of bare bones, but the value is hugely different.

    Once these guys see resistance, they should/will start dropping prices. THEN we will see some competition between those who make BD players…

  • Chris B

    Keep in mind the relationship of Hastings and Microsoft. See http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/bod/hastings/default.mspx

    It has been said many times in many places Microsoft took sides/funded the war to prevent adoption of a high definition standard while trying to push the XBOX 360 to be the digital download center. Rumors of a Netflix partnership with Microsoft have already surfaced.

    It stands to reason then that Netflix would take a stance to detract from Blu-ray as it serves Netflix and Microsoft interests. The cost of the disks themselves cannot possibly play into the price increase. They usually have the dreaded “very long wait” until many weeks after each Blu-ray release which is a clear sign they aren’t buying that many copies to have any real impact to their operations.

    Just a thought.

  • Chris B

    Keep in mind the relationship of Hastings and Microsoft. See http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/bod/hastings/default.mspx

    It has been said many times in many places Microsoft took sides/funded the war to prevent adoption of a high definition standard while trying to push the XBOX 360 to be the digital download center. Rumors of a Netflix partnership with Microsoft have already surfaced.

    It stands to reason then that Netflix would take a stance to detract from Blu-ray as it serves Netflix and Microsoft interests. The cost of the disks themselves cannot possibly play into the price increase. They usually have the dreaded “very long wait” until many weeks after each Blu-ray release which is a clear sign they aren’t buying that many copies to have any real impact to their operations.

    Just a thought.

  • Tony

    This is what happens when competition dies. I still don’t understand why everyone was so interested in seeing this format war end. The longer it went on the longer the concessions from the companies. Now Sony doesn’t have to cut a deal with Netflix to have them host Bluray.

  • Tony

    This is what happens when competition dies. I still don’t understand why everyone was so interested in seeing this format war end. The longer it went on the longer the concessions from the companies. Now Sony doesn’t have to cut a deal with Netflix to have them host Bluray.

  • haveacoke

    There are not enough Blu-ray disc titles to charge more. If every movie I wanted to rent had a hi-def option, then I would fork over some more money possibly, heck I am already when I buy them. But when I may get 1-2 titles a month that are on Blu-ray, then why would I want to have a steeper fee that will most likely not be worth it. I may have to turn to Blockbuster rentals unless they pull the same crap. They I’ll just buy what I want and not worry about renting… oie vey

  • haveacoke

    There are not enough Blu-ray disc titles to charge more. If every movie I wanted to rent had a hi-def option, then I would fork over some more money possibly, heck I am already when I buy them. But when I may get 1-2 titles a month that are on Blu-ray, then why would I want to have a steeper fee that will most likely not be worth it. I may have to turn to Blockbuster rentals unless they pull the same crap. They I’ll just buy what I want and not worry about renting… oie vey