Netflix ups fees for Blu-ray amid rising demand

Mar 30, 2009 By MICHAEL LIEDTKE , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- Online DVD rental leader Netflix Inc. is raising its prices for Blu-ray discs in a change that will triple or quadruple the high-definition surcharge on Netflix's most popular subscription plans.

The new rates announced Monday are being driven by the growing appetite for the Blu-ray format among Netflix's more than 10 million subscribers.

About 1 million of the subscribers are requesting Blu-ray discs instead of standard DVDs, and Blu-ray discs cost about 30 percent more. That means Netflix's profit margins are being squeezed as it expands its high-definition inventory.

The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company had been imposing a $1 monthly surcharge for Blu-ray rentals since September, regardless of how much the basic subscription plan costs.

Effective April 27, will adopt a sliding scale that will slap higher Blu-ray fees on plans that enable customers to check out multiple DVDs at a time.

Renters who pay $14 per month for Netflix's two-DVD package will have to fork over another $3 if they want Blu-ray discs. Under another popular plan that costs $17 per month for three DVDs, customers who prefer Blu-ray discs will have to pay an additional $4. Subscribers who have more expensive rental plans will pay even more for the Blu-ray luxury.

All monthly fees will remain the same for customers who exclusively rent standard DVDs. Netflix is trying to make it easy for people to avoid the new surcharges by disabling the Blu-ray preference in their rental accounts.

Netflix's Blu-ray selection spans about 1,300 titles, a paltry number compared with the more than 100,000 movies and TV shows in its library of standard DVDs.

The higher Blu-ray fees come at a time when Netflix's subscriber growth has been accelerating, partly because more households have been gravitating toward relatively cheap forms of home entertainment to save money.

Since September, Netflix has added more than 1.3 million customers and its stock has surged more than 30 percent. Netflix shares were up $1.25, 3.2 percent, at $40.93 in trading Monday afternoon.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: Nintendo's trailblazing Game Boy marks 25th anniversary

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Blu-ray Burning Its High-def DVD Rival

Apr 24, 2007

Of the high-definition discs bought by consumers in the first quarter, 70 percent were in the Blu-ray Disc format and 30 percent were HD DVD, according to sales figures provided by trade publication Home Media Magazine.

Apple Joins Blu-ray Disc Association

Mar 11, 2005

The Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA) announced that Apple has joined the consortium and will become a member of the Board of Directors. "Apple is pleased to join the Blu-ray Disc Association board as part of our efforts to ...

Pioneer to Ship PC-Based Blu-ray Disc Drive in Q1 2006

Dec 27, 2005

Pioneer Electronics today announced one of the industry’s first Blu-ray Disc computer drives. The new BDR-101A will utilize shorter wavelength blue lasers in order to store up to 25 gigabytes of information ...

Catching Blu-ray wave will cost Americans

Jun 16, 2006

The first Blu-ray video players to hit store shelves in the United States will carry a hefty price tag that some analysts fear could turn off consumers.

Recommended for you

Five features an Amazon phone might offer (Update)

Apr 18, 2014

A report this week in The Wall Street Journal that Amazon is planning to release a smartphone has prompted industry analysts and technology blogs to muse about what the device might offer.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Ex-Apple chief plans mobile phone for India

Former Apple chief executive John Sculley, whose marketing skills helped bring the personal computer to desktops worldwide, says he plans to launch a mobile phone in India to exploit its still largely untapped ...

A homemade solar lamp for developing countries

(Phys.org) —The solar lamp developed by the start-up LEDsafari is a more effective, safer, and less expensive form of illumination than the traditional oil lamp currently used by more than one billion people ...

NASA's space station Robonaut finally getting legs

Robonaut, the first out-of-this-world humanoid, is finally getting its space legs. For three years, Robonaut has had to manage from the waist up. This new pair of legs means the experimental robot—now stuck ...