POSTED: Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 8:46am
UPDATED: Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 5:44pm
More than 23 million subscribers either rent dvds or streaming movies and tv shows from Netflix and news of a price hike has not gone over well.
Unhappy Netflix customers wasted little time venting online after the company's announcement last week that the price for its combined dvd and streaming service would go from 9.99 a month to 15.98 on september 1st.
Dan Ackerman from CNET.com said users wasted no time posting to their social media accounts, "You have Facebook, you have Twitter, you have other social networking sites, so it's more than just people complaining around the water cooler" he said and added, "Any time you take a service that people are used to and you raise the price more than a dollar or two, you make it a significant increase, people are going to basically freak out."
There's no way to know yet how many Netflix customers may jump ship, but competitors such as Amazon and Blockbuster are giving a warm welcome to those who do. (sot dan ackerman / cnet.com :38-48)
"Whether it's movies from Itunes, or whether it's those kiosk boxes you see at drugstores and supermarkets, I think there's a lot of opportunity now for people to come in at a lower cost and give you at least some of those services" Ackerman said.
Netflix's price hike comes as the company's spending more to bolster the library of tv shows and movies its allowed to stream. One analyst estimates the company's streaming costs could balloon from $180 million last year to $2 billion next year.
Ackerman said streaming is the future, "Just as people are downloading music instead of going to the store and buying cds, people are going to be downloading and streaming more movies on a going forward basis rather than getting those discs."
Netflix is hoping that future keeps customers streaming to its services and not away from them.