As Stop the Cap! reports, Netflix is now enforcing something that has long been part of their Terms of Service agreement:
Some membership plans allow you to watch simultaneously on more than one personal computer or Netflix ready device at the same time. If you are on the 1 disc out at-a-time plan [or stream-only plan], you may watch only one device at a time. If you are on the 2 discs out at-a-time plan, you may watch on up to two devices at the same time. Members on the 3 disc plan can watch on up to three devices. The maximum is four devices simultaneously, and that is available for members on the 4 or greater discs out at-a-time plans.
Over the weekend, Netflix customers began to see error messages when they tried to stream to multiple devices simultaneously.
In order to stream two movies at a time, you would have to pay for at least the 2 DVDs-at-a-time package at just under $20 per month. With more devices like smartphones and video game consoles also gaining the ability to stream Netflix, this also likely to increase in collisions. I know some people have been exploiting the fact that this has previously gone unenforced and shared an account amongst friends or family members but that may soon be coming to an end as two $7.99/month streaming-only accounts would be cheaper for customers and better for Netflix.
I have tested this out before and had no problem streaming videos to my PC, PS3, and Wii at the same time. If Netflix started enforcing this with the September 1st price hike, it was another strike that was probably overlooked by many customers that decided to remain with Netflix but downgrade to a cheaper, streaming-only plan.
Between the price increase (for same amount of service), losing negotiations with Starz content (which will take effect in February), and now this, where’s the bottom for Netflix?