Geek Trivia

Which Of These Streaming Services Originally Cost A Dollar An Hour?

AOL Instant Video
Anyone Venturing Outside Town In Svalbard, Norway Is Required To Bring?

Answer: Netflix

If you’re a young adult that came of age when Netflix was primarily a streaming service (and maybe sort of a DVD rental service), it might surprise you to learn that the limitless buffet of streaming video you’ve come to know and love wasn’t so limitless just a short while ago.

When Netflix first ventured into the streaming market, there was no $9.99 all-you-can-stream plan. In fact, the first Netflix streaming plan was simply an experimental outgrowth of their DVD plans. The service, called “Watch Now”, only had around 1,000 titles, and was only available on PC computers running Internet Explorer.

Further, the number of hours of streaming video you got was based on which DVD plan you had. If you had the $9.99 plan (with one DVD check-out at a time), you got 10 hours of streaming video. If you had the $17.99 monthly membership (with three DVDs), you could stream 18 hours of video. If you wanted more hours, then you had to get your spouse or roommate to get their own plan to maximize your streaming time.

Thankfully, the streaming side of the service gained traction, and they went with the all-you-can-watch model. If not, the phenomenon of Netflix binging would have never come about—to binge watch a lengthy show like LOST, you would have needed an approximately $97 per month plan to cover the expense using the dollar-per-hour model.