Netflix is an online media streaming tool that allows its subscribers to rent television shows, movies, and the like through a variety of internet-connected devices such as the TV, Xbox360, Play Station, iPhone, iPad, Wii, Android, or even on the computer. There are three types of services available:
Internet Video Streaming
This is the most popular and most availed service offered by Netflix. Cost of this service was originally set to be directly proportional to the number of hours allotted for streaming time. For example, with a $16.99 plan, the subscriber is entitled to 17 hours of streaming – that is about 1 hour of streaming for every dollar spent. However, in 2008, Netflix changed it up and allowed unlimited streaming time for its members, with the exemption of the $4.99 plan, where only 2 hours (2 DVDs) are allowed per month.
Netflix pricing is on a month-to-month basis. It starts at $6.99, which allows subscribers to stream one show at a time; the $7.99 plan allows streaming of 2 shows at a time; the $9.99 plan grants one the capability of streaming 3 shows simultaneously, and so forth.
This service allows subscribers to receive mailed copies of the DVDs they order. The process is simple: the subscriber chooses the DVDs she or he wants to rent; this is called a ‘rental queue.’ These will then be delivered within a span of 24 hours. However, as per an agreement with Universal Studios, Warner Bros., and 20th Century Fox, rentals for new films are to be delayed by 4 weeks (28 days) so as to allow the aforementioned companies to increase physical media sales in various retail stores.
Netflix pricing starts at $4.99 per month which, like other subscriptions, allows the renter to keep the DVDs for an unspecified number of days, but can only borrow a maximum of 2 DVDs per month. But, in order for that renter to avail of new DVDs, the previously borrowed discs must be returned first in a metered reply mail envelope or in the original packaging it was mailed in. Rental of blu-ray discs requires an additional fee.
Internet Video Streaming and Disc Rental Combo
In late 2011, Netflix created a separate plan that allows both internet streaming and disc rental. This is particularly convenient since the disc library has notably more movie titles available compared to the online library, which has more original content from Netflix. Pricing is at $15.98 – about twice the price of the individual services.
Free Trial Version
For those who are still skeptical of the quality of the services Netflix offers, they may try availing of the 1-month free trial subscription. It’s simple, just sign up as a member, and viola! They are entitled to a 1-month free trial period and can opt to either continue with the paid subscription or to cancel their account – there are no cancellation fees.
Netflix Pricing versus Other Streaming Tools
Amongst all the available paid media content in Australia, Netflix holds second place as the most popular, with Foxtel holding the crown as number one. It is followed closely by its local replica, Quickflix, and then by Amazon Prime.
Netflix boasts to have over 27% of the total media subscription sales as of October 2014, which says a lot about its customer satisfaction. This is in reference to the number of subscribers, and not to the total revenue of the service. Most of its success can be attributed to its affordable pricing, which is at $8 per month.
While Foxtel has been almost like a staple service provider for Australians, it is the most expensive of the lot. Its newest and cheapest streaming plan starts at $25 a month, while its most expensive package charges a monthly fee of $120.
Amazon Prime is less popular but, as opposed to its competitors, it only charges an annual fee of $100 instead of the usual monthly fee. However, one must avail of the membership fee first, which is at $299.
Quickflix has its cheapest package at $9 per month and its most expensive one at $19/month. Of course, the pricing for each package corresponds to type of services availed.
Netflix for Australia
Since Netflix is not yet officially available in the land down under, subscribers have to pay an additional $5 for an Unblock-Us account to disable the geoblocking feature and access its services – that is $13 in total. However, Unblock-Us allows its members to enjoy a 7-day free trial period for them to test out its services first, and it also unlocks access to every version of Netflix from around the world, with the unique content that goes with each.