Netflix Members to Stream for Exits: Poll

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Netflix ( NFLX) subscribers refuse to pay more for content, with TheStreet's poll revealing many customers may cut ties with the movie rental company.

Earlier in the week, Netflix revised its pricing strategy, separating its DVD-by-mail and streaming services into two packages. Users will now have to pay $16 per month for these services, compared with to the current price of $9.99.

There was an outcry from Netflix subscribers following the announcement, with 54.1% of the more than 5,000 voters in TheStreet's poll saying they will cancel their membership altogether.

A handful of readers commented that they are not even waiting until September (when the rate hike goes into effect for current subscribers) to cancel their membership.

" Yeah I just cancelled my account, there are plenty of other services out there other than Netflix," reader Jake Bauer commented.

'They are out of their mind. I didn't even wait until September. I cancelled today to voice my displeasure," said another reader, Jason Wilson.

"Cancelled my Netflix membership today the minute I received the e-mail notification of this increase," said one anonymous reader. "The streaming content is so out of date why would I pay for it? If you want to watch Matlock or Sixteen Candles it's there, but Netflix is so far behind on current movies it is not worth paying for it... Redbox here I come! Might buy their stock, too."

Coinstar's ( CSTR) Redbox DVD kiosks seem to be a popular alternative for these displaced users.

Others are returning to cable.

"This now puts HBO and Showtime back in the game..... I'm not a very happy camper..... I left cable pay-per-views for what I thought was a good value with Netflix. I bought a DVD player that supported Netflix...To say I'm upset is an understatement," said an anonymous reader.

Another 37.2% said they will retain their membership, but just subscribe to one of the two services for $7.99 per month.

"My instinct was to keep the discs, since that's why I subscribed in the first place, but now that I think about it, maybe I'll keep the streaming and go to Redbox when I need a disc," said reader Rich M.

Only 8.7% said they will pay the $16 for both DVD and streaming content.

While the overall sentiment for Netflix's latest move has been one is displeasure, some users do seem to understand the business side of management's decision.

"People seem to forget that only about three years ago, Netflix didn't even offer streaming service. It was only DVDs in the mail. Then they added 10 hours of streaming a month. Then unlimited. All the while, only increasing the price of service by a couple dollars," said John Gruentzel. "They have been offering a premium service that people love and now their price system is catching up to that premium. Still way better than paying $70+/month for cable."

"It's amazing how shortsighted consumers can be; no business sense at all," said another anonymous reader.

- Reported by Jeanine Poggi in New York.

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