Mad at Netflix's Price Increase? Here are Some Movie-Watching Alternatives to Help Save Money

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NetflixAttention streaming movie marathoners: There are major changes coming your way. This month Netflix announced they'll be increasing their plan pricing. The trend of rising prices for streaming content is a growing one. Cell phone providers like Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are all planning to eliminate unlimited data plans in favor of tiered pricing. With experts predicting most cell phone users won't be hit by the changes for a few years, Netflix is taking most of the heat.

Here are the basics of the Netflix changes. Instead of having DVD rentals and streaming movies priced together, each portion will be priced as a separate plan. For most users, this will increase the monthly bill by $6-10. Price changes will take effect September 1.

Customer Backlash

Understandably, cash-strapped consumers are not thrilled about price increases. The official blog post announcing Netflix's changes has generated more than 12,000 comments. Most appear to be current subscribers pledging to cancel their subscription.

More Than the Price

On the surface, $6 doesn't seem like an outrageous amount, but customers are hurt about more than the money. Many who've been with Netflix from the start feel their loyalty has been betrayed. Disgruntled loyalists would like prices to stay as they are for current subscribers with increased rates only for new subscribers.

Not Enough Bang for the Buck

Another customer gripe is that the product doesn't justify the higher price. Subscribers have complained the streaming movie selection is lacking. They contend new material is not added often enough and many times the streaming video quality is poor.

Switching to the Competition

The price increases by Netflix are encouraging many users to give the competition a try. Redbox is one of the most popular alternatives, with $1 rentals and locations in just about every neighborhood. Amazon Instant Video is another popular choice. Streaming new releases are typically $3.99 to rent for a 48 hour period.

Price Increase Reasoning

Even though Netflix subscribers are in an uproar, the company isn't entirely to blame. When Netflix started their streaming service, studios who own the movies didn't realize the potential for profits. With the surge in streaming media popularity, studios want to charge a premium for their content. One expert has predicted Netflix's content licensing costs will increase from $180 million in 2010 to $1.98 billion in 2012.

If you don't want to pay these increased costs, here are a few alternatives to help you keep your cash:

DVD Exchange With Friends

Do you have a shelf full of DVDs you just can't bring yourself to watch again? Get a few friends or co-workers in on a movie exchange. Trade movies one for one and trade back when you're all done watching.

Rent From the Library

With the demise of local video rental stores, finding releases from a few years back is growing increasingly difficult. Renting movies from the library can help you track down many titles not available from Redbox. Even better, the rentals are free!

Discount Gift Cards

Going to see a movie in the theatre isn't exactly a steal, but there are some ways around high prices. Popular cinemas like AMC and Regal both have more than 100 discounted gift cards available at sites such as GiftCardGranny.com or Cardpool.com.

Matinee Movies

If you work a 9-5, matinee movies may be out of your reach, but they make for another way to beat high prices. Tickets cost much less and you don't have to deal with the massive crowds you find in the evening.

Neighborhood Movie Night

Consider going in with a group of neighbors and investing in a backyard movie set-up. Hopefully, someone already has a projector they're willing to share. All you need then is a screen. Inflatable, outdoor projection screens can easily be found online for less than $200. This tip might not save a ton of money, but it can help a whole group of people stop paying their money to Netflix.

Free Screenings

Plenty of filmmakers just want their movie to get seen. College campuses are great resources for finding free screenings. Many towns also offer free showings of classic films at parks throughout the summer. A local paper is a good way to find out if there are any offerings in your area.

Get Outside

The natural world was here before streaming Netflix and it will certainly be here long after. Take the money you'd spend on movies and invest it in a national parks pass. The cost is only $80 for one year and it gets you and anyone in the car with you into more than 2,000 sites across the country.

Dial Into Daily Movie Deals

Deal of the day sites like Groupon and LivingSocial occasionally offer discounted movie theater tickets for as little as $2 per person. That's a pretty cheap movie night outing and well worth the price. Just make sure to skip the popcorn and candy - your wallet and waist will thank you.

 

I'm a former 7th grade Science teacher turned stay-at-home mom that lives in Houston, Texas. I am married to my college sweetheart and have a beautiful daughter named Riley, who definitely keeps me on my toes! I am also involved in starting a small business which would both manufacture and sell an invention that I've patented, called Toothpaste 2 Go. I love interacting with my readers and hope to learn as much about you as you learn about me!

Melissa
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8 Responses to Mad at Netflix’s Price Increase? Here are Some Movie-Watching Alternatives to Help Save Money!

    Bellesouth Says:

    1

    I have been using streaming-only for a few months and I really don’t miss the dvd plan. Although I know they could not negotiate with Sony or Starz and that has cut down their selection tremendously.

    Here are some places where I’ve been able to see free movies:

    – Hulu
    – pbs.org (GREAT way to see Frontline episodes)
    – Free Documentary sites. the films are legally licensed, just make sure you do your research.

    Also, I’ve noticed YouTube is selling movies starting at about 99 cents.

    Granted, none of these are DVD sites. There are also DVD “swap” sites, but they sometimes result in very long waits if you are looking for new releases. Also, don’t swap anything you don’t want to keep!

    Also my cable company is now offering streaming content to subscribers.

      Melissa Says:

      2

      Great resources Bellesouth! Thanks so much for sharing…especially the free movie sites. I was completely unaware of those and will definitely check them out. I’m with you and have dropped down to the streaming plan and don’t miss the DVDs much either. My husband and I were always using the streaming option primarily anyway, since we were never good at planning out which movies we’d like to watch in advance. Anytime we get an urge to watch something that Netflix streaming doesn’t offer, we hit the local Redbox. Have a great day! :-)

    Bellesouth Says:

    3

    P.S. – Thanks for using commentluv! I’m surprised more bloggers don’t use it; such a great tool!

    Nicole S Says:

    5

    I haven’t gotten an email talking about the upcharge yet, but it doesn’t surprise me either. I just wish they would combine the services into different plans instead of charging for it separately (unless you only buy part of the services) for if you subscribe to both they should give you a bit of a rebate even if it was a couple of bucks like most bundling plans do.

      Melissa Says:

      6

      I couldn’t agree more, Nicole. What also makes me a bit annoyed is how Netflix is pushing their online streaming option so much, yet their movie selection online is not very good at all. There are many movies, both new and old, that I’ve tried to watch on Netflix’s streaming service and they never have them. Hopefully with time, this will improve.

        Nicole S Says:

        7

        I agree with the streaming. Also on my roku, it only used to show movies I hadn’t seen, but now it shows all the movies without the option to change to only show what I haven’t seen on streaming.

        Nicole S Says:

        8

        I agree with the streaming. Also on my roku, it only used to show movies I hadn’t seen, but now it shows all the movies without the option to change to only show what I haven’t seen on streaming.

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