Price-Hike Outrage

Netflix Price Hike: YouTube, Amazon, Other Best Alternatives for Irate Customers

YouTube, Amazon, and Blockbuster are among top options for angry customers of video-streaming service.

Netflix customers are fuming over the company’s decision to separate its streaming service from its DVD-rental program, an effective 60 percent price hike for people who want access to both. But irate customers have a few alternatives open to them.

Hulu

Hulu is Netflix’s most formidable rival on the streaming front. The video portal is backed by Disney and Fox and offers a wide selection of TV shows and a few movies. It’s free if you don’t mind watching a few ads, and for $7.99 a month—the same as streaming Netflix will cost—you get rid of the ads and gain access to a larger array of shows and movies. If a rumored buyout from Google comes to pass, the site could become a serious alternative to Netflix’s streaming service.

YouTube

Even without Hulu, Google is encroaching on Netflix’s territory. Through YouTube, users can stream movies for $2.99 to $3.99. YouTube’s rental selection is smaller than Netflix’s, but it has some movies Netflix doesn’t.

Amazon Prime

Amazon has been edging its way into the video-streaming market, offering movies for $1.99 per view and unlimited streaming for $79 per year. The main problem is that its selection of 6,000 videos isn’t nearly as large as Netflix’s, but the company seems to be rushing to add new titles. Plus, the $79 subscription also gets you free two-day shipping from Amazon.

Blockbuster by Mail

If you prefer physical discs, Blockbuster has a mail service, but it’s more expensive than Netflix’s: $11.99, $16.99, or $19.99 for one, two, or three discs at a time. Those extra dollars get you Blu-ray, which Netflix doesn’t offer, and access to some titles 28 days before Netflix has them, according to Blockbuster’s site. Blockbuster also has a streaming service, Blockbuster on Demand, which for $1.99 lets you stream a movie for 24 hours.

CinemaNow

Best Buy also has an on-demand streaming service, but it’s a dollar more than Amazon’s and Blockbuster’s. For $2.99 you get access to a movie for 24 hours.

GreenCine

A Netflix alternative for the cinephile, GreenCine is more expensive than Netflix but claims a larger repertoire of obscure, independent, and international films. Pricing options range from $9.95 a month for one DVD at a time to $49.95 for eight.

Redbox

Leaving home to get a DVD feels very 20th century, but Redbox offers one of the cheapest rentals around. You can get a DVD for $1 and Blu-ray for another 50 cents. The Redbox vending machines can be found at grocery stores, fast-food restaurants, and other outlets, so it’s more convenient than brick-and-mortar rental stores.

Tudou

If you’re really determined to pay as little as you can for your movies, you can try to navigate the Chinese-language buttons on the video-hosting site Tudou. It has an enormous selection of movies—suspiciously, even some that have yet to come out on DVD.