Netflix Falls to Earth

| Thu Sep. 15, 2011 7:16 PM EDT

Until recently, Netflix charged $9.99 for a combined DVD/streaming service. This was officially billed as $7.99 for streaming and $2 for DVDs, but really, it was just a $9.99 package deal for two services that cost $7.99 separately. So when they got rid of the package deal, I immediately canceled my streaming service. It looks like I'm something of an outlier, though:

Fewer customers than expected are opting to take Netflix's DVD-only subscription package. Netflix now expects to have 2.2 million such subscribers, down from the previous forecast of 3 million. The company also cut its forecast for streaming-only subscribers, to 21.8 million from 22 million.

In other words, DVD subscribers went down by 27% while streaming subscribers only went down 1%. Most people who responded to the Netflix price increase did the exact opposite of me.

Along with the much higher raw numbers for streaming subscribers, I guess this demonstrates that my consumption of video is just fundamentally different from most people. Basically, I think of something I want to watch and then go look for it. Usually it turned out that my choice wasn't available on streaming, which made the service pretty worthless to me. Apparently, though, most people don't work that way. They just dive into the streaming library and browse around until they find something that looks good. If that's the way you work, then the streaming service is a pretty good deal.

Anyway, I'm just curious if I have this right. Those of you who subscribe to and like the Netflix streaming service, is this more or less the way you use it? Or am I missing something?

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