DVD rental service Netflix (NFLX) is bumping prices up again for the roughly 10% of its subscribers who rent hi-definition Blu-ray movies. Instead of a $1-per-month flat surcharge, Netflix will charge extra based on the movie rental package you subscribe to.
Meanwhile, still no surcharge for streaming Netflix movies and TV shows on the Internet, even in HD (where available).
Blu-ray subscribers on the typical $16.99 per month Netflix subscription will pay an extra $4 per month to be able to access Blu-ray movies. The cheapest, $4.99 per month package will have a $1 monthly surcharge. The most expensive, $47.99 monthly plan will have a $9 monthly surcharge. (See chart below.)
If you do not rent Blu-ray movies — look for the box in your Netflix account section — there’s no surcharge.
Given that Blu-ray discs cost about 30% more than standard DVDs, the pricing changes make sense. As Netflix notes in its press release, other rental services charge a $1 to $2 premium per transaction.
Plus, Netflix’s old $1 per month across-the-board surcharge would never make the company enough money to make sense. For argument’s sake, 10% of 10 million subscribers is just $12 million in revenue per year — or not even 1% of the $1.6 billion in sales Wall Street expects Netflix to report this year.