Investors sent Netflix shares plummeting 15% Thursday after the video services company cut U.S. subscriber estimates for the third quarter of 2011 by 1 million -- meaning it expects to lose about 600,000 domestic customers -- following a pricing plan change that went into effect in September.
In July, Netflix threw many customers into a fury after announcing a price change that eliminates the combined DVDs-by-mail and streaming plans. Netflix now offers U.S. customers the streaming-only plan for $7.99 per month, as well as DVD plans starting at $7.99 per month for one disc out at a time. The price change went into effect for existing customers Sept. 1.
Previously, Netflix expected 25 million total U.S. subscribers, comprising 10 million streaming-only, 3 million DVD-only and 12 million on both plans. On Thursday, the company said it now anticipates 24 million total subs -- 9.8 million streaming-only, 2.2 million DVD-only and 12 million on both.