I received an email recently regarding our Netflix subscription. We had the option to have 3 DVDs out per month with unlimited streaming. This cost nearly $20/month, and we mostly used the DVDs to watch TV seasons. We got through all of our TV shows and decided to drop our service down to 1 DVD per month with unlimited streaming and this cost about $10/month.
Then an email about new changes to Netflix pricing showed up. Come September 2011, we would have to pay $15.98 per month to retain the features we have now. They said it was to be able to offer both at reasonable price. The other option was to discontinue streaming and get 1 DVD at a time each month or streaming only.
We go to the theatre to see movies if we want to see them that badly or we wait until they the DVD release. Netflix tends to release the new movies on DVD and for streaming at the same time. Their TV availability is determined by the release date of each season, and they don't always have all the episodes available via streaming - our preferred method of delivery.
We don't have cable because most of the TV shows we watch are on the "Premium Content Channels" and, frankly, it is not worth it to spend $100 per month on HD channels just for 3 or 4 programs. So, decision time. Because we don't take advantage of the Netflix DVD service as much as we could, we decided that the streaming at $7.99 per month was more than sufficient.
Hulu recently released the XBox 360 app under Hulu Plus. This service is also $7.99 per month. There are commercial interludes lasting up to 1 minute 2 or 3 times during an hour long program. The plus side to this is that, while you can't get out of the commercials, Hulu's got an "Ad Tailor" that allows us to pick and choose what advertising we'll be subjected to. The trade-off is that we get current programming a day after it airs, which is much faster than it takes Netflix to provide full seasons.
We're now paying $15.98 per month anyway, but we've got a much wider variety of programming options, and we can watch via the XBox 360 on the large HDTV or at the computer. Choices are nice. Netflix's new choices are not so nice. And that, folks, is how Netflix irritations turn into Hulu Plus subscriptions.