People are pretty grumpy with Netflix’s recent price change, and – as consumers – it’s in their economic interests to gripe. But Netflix is doing more than just charging you a little extra. They’re enacting the brilliant plan of having prices low enough to keep you, but still make enough to keep competition at bay.
By this, I mean that Netflix was amazing when it started. I joined Netflix pretty early on, and it’s always been a pretty awesome company as far as low prices and magically speedy shipping. The annoying thing isn’t that Netflix is raising prices (although that does bother my wallet a bit), but that Netflix kept its prices low for years while driving Blockbuster and Hollywood Video into the ground, and now that they’re barely alive Netflix is beginning to screw over its customers. There have been a few tiny price hikes recently, with the most recent division of streaming and sending being the biggest.
On top of that, the objective of splitting digital subscriptions and mail subscriptions is built pretty much to encourage you to drop the mail and go digital-only. This will, of course, give Netflix the ability to fire a lot of the people who do the super-fast work or sorting through all the discs you mail in, and Netflix will improve their profit margin even more.
Business at it’s finest, I guess.