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Netflix may offer streaming-only pricing in 2010

Video-rental site is considering a streaming-only pricing tier in 2010, presumably to accommodate owners of Netflix-enabled devices who want a cheaper membership option.

Paying less for streaming sounds nice, but the online catalog is still limited.
Paying less for streaming sounds nice, but the online catalog is still limited. Sarah Tew/CNET Networks

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.

(Sources: Bloomberg via Engadget HD)