Netflix will offer streaming-only subscription plans

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Netflix has made it possible to watch movies without leaving your home, first in the form of red envelopes that arrive in the mail, and then via direct-to-computer video streaming. Now, the streaming service has proven so popular that Netflix will offer a stand-alone streaming subscription service, says the company’s chief financial officer Barry McCarthy.

Though details are scarce, McCarthy said the new subscription would be available in the “foreseeable future.” Right now, Netflix subscribers receive DVDs and Blu-ray discs in the mail and can watch movies instantly via computer, TiVo, Xbox 360, Roku box, or LG television sets—with many more vessels coming in the future.

It was only a matter of time before Netflix offered this service as a stand-alone option. When Netflix launched the “Watch Instantly” feature back in 2007, it didn’t take off right away due to a lack of available movies and the ability to watch only on a PC. Then different platforms arose, including Mac support, and Netflix knew it had a hit on its hands. Now Netflix offers more than 12,000 movies for online streaming, with more coming every week. It’s no surprise that Netflix is one of the few companies actually doing well during this recession.

But is a stand-alone streaming option worth it? Only if it’s cheap. For $15 a month, you can get two movies simultaneously with unlimited reloads and the streaming service. If Netflix offers streaming alone for $5 a month, I think it’d be worth the dough. Otherwise users might as well stick with the slightly more expensive plans that have everything included.

This story, "Netflix will offer streaming-only subscription plans" was originally published by PCWorld.

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