In a blog post on January 17, Netflix announced that it would be removing the option to allow users to add DVDs to their queue via streaming devices. The short statement noted that the service change is meant to increase the functionality of their streaming services. Netflix users may still add titles to their queue through the website, including titles available for instant streaming.

Although the brief statement nearly flew under the radar, many Netflix users were angered by the decision. Users will now have to use the full website to manage their DVD queues, leaving those who utilized other streaming devices to do so feeling inconvenienced.

The decision comes on the heels of other changes relating to Netflix’s library of streaming titles. Recently, a new subscription plan was introduced, allowing for unlimited use of its streaming content for $7.99 a month. The subscription is two dollars cheaper than its smallest DVD rental plan, which allows for one DVD out at a time plus full access to streaming content.

The elimination of the option to add titles from streaming devices, coupled with the introduction of the streaming-only subscription, may be indicative of where rental services will be heading in the future. As more individuals acquire streaming devices, such as video game consoles, laptops and smart phones, streaming-only services may become more popular in comparison to traditional DVD rentals.

The ability to watch instantly, however, is not without its pitfalls. One of its largest problems is the limited availability of titles. Due to licensing, many titles are only available by DVD. Netflix is actively working to broaden the scope of its instantly available content, but many still feel that there much left to be desired. Unless Netflix and its competitors can make the availability of streaming content considerably broader, most users will still seek out DVD rentals and sales.

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