Netflix is considering offering a streaming-only pricing tier as soon as next year, according to comments made by CEO Reed Hastings in a report by Bloomberg.
The streaming-only membership could be popular among those with Netflix-enabled devices (such as the Roku Netflix Player, Xbox 360, and LG BD300) who want streaming access without the full cost of a Netflix membership. Netflix hasn't said how much the streaming-only tier would cost, but we'd assume it would be less than the current entry-level $9-a-month unlimited plan.
On the other hand, we're still on the lookout for Netflix to start charging a premium on customers who use the streaming service in addition to DVD rentals. The company has already introduced premium pricing by charging Blu-ray renters an extra dollar a month, and it feels like it's only a matter of time before heavy streamers pay a premium as well--or at least for premium content. In other words, keep on streaming while the streaming's free, because it may not last forever.