Netflix and Hulu Plus Prepare To Duke It Out For Your Moneys

→ by Andy Yen < @renowned >
at 1:57pm Nov 23, 2010

Earlier this week, Netflix unveiled its new streaming-only plan for users. Finally, those of us who use the 1 disc plan as a glorified coffee table coaster in order to get access to instant watch can save a couple of bucks a month.

Here’s the new Netflix pricing schedule:

According to the latest Netflix earnings call, it disclosed that over 66% of its users utilize streaming content and that by the next quarter, the majority of users will be consuming more content via streaming than on DVD. We’re headed for a future of instant gratification video content and I’ll be damned if that doesn’t send some tingles to my nether regions.

It’s funny that just a couple years ago there would have been massive public outcry if Netflix had attempted to implement this pricing change. But today? Today it sounds like a pretty good deal, huh?

Now, it’s absolutely no coincidence that Netflix picked $7.99/month as its price point for streaming-only access. Last week, Hollywood-based Hulu announced that very price point for their premium subscription service, Hulu Plus. The service had originally gone public earlier in November at a $9.99 monthly rate and we can only assume that a lukewarm reception prompted Hulu to shave a couple of dollars off.

Even with the reduced price, I’m not so sure that Hulu Plus is compelling enough to warrant paying for over Netflix. For starters, even if you’re a paying subscriber, Hulu will still display advertisements throughout all its videos. What’s up with that? If I’m paying 8 bucks a month, I don’t want to see  no stinkin’ ads during my enjoyment of Glee!

With Netflix you not only get television series on DVD, you also get to choose from a fairly sizable chunk of feature films too. The flipside to that is that Hulu will give you access to more recent television episodes. There’s not a more disappointing feeling when plowing through an awesome series to find out that the latest season isn’t on DVD yet.

Tech-wise, Netflix works with more devices than Hulu Plus does currently. You can get Netflix on all three game consoles (Wii, Playstation 3, Xbox 360) and on more brands of TVs and Blu-Ray players. Hulu Plus is confined to just the Playstation 3 and the latest Sony and Samsung model televisions. The silver lining is that both services are available on all iOS devices and the Roku media player.

Whichever service ends up being right for you, it’s clear that an all-you-can watch streaming buffet business model is the future of entertainment consumption. Oh and whatever you do, try not to talk yourself into a late night Human Centipede viewing. Just beacuse it’s available on instant watch doesn’t mean it’s a good idea.

About the Author: Andy Yen

Andy loves to live his digital life on the bleeding edge. He usually falls into the category of "early adopter" by being in on new gadgets and beta versions of software and sites. Most of the time it doesn't end up biting him in the ass. He also loves video games and music and curates a site called My Day Will Come if you're into those sorts of things.