So Netflix today announces they’re raising rates for everyone. Our plan will go up 60% for the unlimited streaming and 1 DVD plan as bundled plans are no longer ($10 -> $8 + $8).

It seems like a strategic move to me. They’ve been raking in new subscribers and because of this, they’ve faced higher renewal contracts (or at least the threat thereof). Sony recently removed their movies from Netflix’s streaming service. I don’t think they studios recognized how successful Netflix would be and now want to play hardball.

So what does Netflix do? They’re not interested in buying Hulu (which is for sale). By raising their rates so drastically, I think they’re forcing the studios to make more of their content available via streaming. If Netflix no longer purchases DVDs from the studios (which can’t be a great money maker for Netflix anyway), doesn’t that put the pressure on the studios and make it better for streaming users?

The rate hike seems so high and sudden, that I have a hard time believing it’s for any other purpose.

I, for one, won’t mind the higher prices if it means more content online in a year or two. It seems far more likely to me that people will drop the [now separate] DVD plan than drop Netflix altogether. And if they do keep both, that’s just gravy for Netflix and their already-happy shareholders.