Netflix Says It Allows Streaming To At Least Two Devices At Once

Netflix denied reports that it has begun enforcing its official policy that restricts U.S. streaming-only customers to a single device at a time for watching TV shows or movies, with a company spokesman saying all subscribers are allowed to use at least two devices simultaneously.

"No Netflix member is limited to less than two concurrent streams," Steve Swasey, Netflix vice president of corporate communications, said in an e-mail.

Swasey declined to specify the maximum number of streams Netflix subscribers are allowed to access simultaneously.

That deviates from Netflix's previous terms of use. "If you are on the Unlimited Streaming plan, the Unlimited Streaming + 1 DVD out-at-a-time plan or a limited streaming plan, you may watch only one device at a time," the company says in an FAQ on its site. 

Though the one-stream-per-household policy was not new, Netflix reportedly began enforcing that restriction only starting last week.

Netflix is updating its site and terms of service to reflect the
number of devices streaming-only subscribers can access, Swasey said. He denied reports that Netflix recently began restricting customers to a single stream.

In July, Netflix irritated many customers by announcing a price change eliminating the combined DVDs-by-mail and streaming plans. Now, Netflix 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.

At the end of June, Netflix had 25.56 million subscribers (24.6 million in the U.S., 970,000 in Canada), up 70% from the year earlier. However, the company expects its torrid growth to slow in the current quarter ending Sept. 30, because of the pricing change.

Netflix also suffered a setback after Starz Entertainment last week said it won't renew their distribution deal, set to expire in February 2012.