Netflix announced it is now giving most of its more than seven million subscribers the added benefit of unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes on their PCs — for no additional fee.
All Netflix subscribers on unlimited rental plans, which start as low as $8.99 a month, will be able to stream as many movies and TV episodes as they want on their PCs, choosing from a library of over 6,000 familiar movies and TV episodes.
Since introducing PC-based movie watching last year, the company had taken a “metered” approach to the feature, offering, in essence, an hour per month of instant watching on a PC for every dollar of a subscriber’s monthly subscription plan. For example, for subscribers on the popular $16.99 plan, which provides unlimited DVD rental with three discs out at a time, subscribers received the added benefit of 17 hours a month of movies and TV episodes watched instantly on their PCs.
Now, subscribers on unlimited plans get unlimited DVD rental, with access to a library of over 90,000 DVD titles — plus, for no additional cost, the ability to stream as many movies and TV episodes as they want from the smaller instant watching library, unconstrained by any hourly limits.
“Unlimited has always been a very powerful selling point with our subscribers and a large part of what set us apart in the marketplace,” said Leslie Kilgore, the company’s chief marketing officer. “In talking with members about our streaming feature during the past year, it became clear that, as with DVDs, the idea of streaming unlimited movies and TV episodes on a PC resonated quite strongly. And we’re now in a good position to offer that.”
For the lone capped rental program available to new members — $4.99 for one DVD out at time, limited to two DVDs a month — two hours of instant watching each month will be available at no extra charge.
Since introducing the streaming feature a year ago, Netflix has continued to add titles to the library. In the first year, the choices most popular with subscribers have included hit TV series “Heroes,” “The Office” and “30 Rock,” as well as feature films “The Sum of All Fears” and “The Italian Job” and Academy Award-winners “Pan’s Labyrinth” and “Letters from Iwo Jima.”