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Netflix tests price plans for streaming video

Netflix is testing new price plans for streaming video as it tries to lure more viewers.

Among the plans being tested are a $6.99-a-month plan that allows only one video stream to be watched at once, and a $9.99-a-month plan that allows three streams at one time, whether on a TV, tablet or computer.

A Netflix spokesman says not everyone will see the test prices, and they may never roll out to all customers.

Netflix's standard $7.99-a-month plan allows users to watch video on up to two screens at once, including TVs and mobile devices. An $11.99-a-month service allows up to four shows at once. Netflix announced that plan in April.

Any move to offer a cheaper service tier would be surprising to some analysts, who expect the company to raise prices eventually to pay for the service's content. The lower-priced tier could attract more value-conscious consumers, Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia wrote in a note to investors. But it also could prompt existing customers to trade down, if they cancel and sign back up for the cheaper service.

Introducing original content, such as the shows House of Cards and Orange Is the New Black, helped Netflix gain new customers in 2013. Netflix added 1.3 million U.S. subscribers in the third quarter and ended September with 31.1 million.

The Los Gatos, Calif., company also still offers a DVD-by-mail subscription plan starting at $7.99 a month, though it is moving away from that business in favor of delivering video over the Internet exclusively.

Netflix tests price plans for streaming video 12/31/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 31, 2013 8:28pm]
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