Netflix contemplates a tiered streaming model

Certain Netflix members this weekend received a survey from the company in their inbox which asked if users would pay more for premium content.

The survey focused on HBO content, which would add $9.99 per month and give the user instant access to HBO original series and movies. While it is still only an idea by the company, the introduction of a tiered streaming model is a logical next step for the company. It would move the streaming business out of the auxiliary position it currently holds and closer to the company's mail order business which currently has nine different monthly rental plans.

Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, has intimated in the past that the subscription model is the only one the company will use. In the company's second quarter 2008 earnings call this summer, he said, "We don't plan to enter the pay-per-view segment where Apple, Amazon, Sony, and others focus, or the ad-support segment, where Hulu, YouTube, and others compete. Both of those segments will likely be substantial but our subscription segment will also be large and will provide Netflix plenty of room for growth over the coming year."

Furthermore, some of the devices which support Netflix streaming -- namely TiVO's HD DVRs and the Roku set top box -- offer pay-per-view through a partnership with Amazon Video on Demand.

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