Entertainment &Software &Video Rental Steven Kippel on 12 Oct 2008

Netflix Watch Now limited to Xbox Live Gold subscribers

Netflix Watch Now limited to Xbox Live Gold subscribers

Microsoft Xbox 360While I can’t think of any reason to not have a Gold account on Xbox Live, you will need one if you plan on watching Netflix movies through the new Xbox service.

To access online Xbox content, every user is required to have an Xbox Live account. Silver accounts are free; Gold accounts are approx $50 per year.

Later this year, Microsoft will release the new Dashboard, “The New Xbox Experience,” later this Autumn. Included with this revamped system is the ability to link to your Netflix account to stream Watch Now videos through the Xbox 360. Regular subscription rates for Netflix apply.

Microsoft claims limiting this service to Gold members is “about adding value to the gold membership.” Xbox director of marketing Albert Penello told MTV, “I mean, obviously, the partnership there — it’s a lot of bandwidth. Obviously, there’s the cost of the licensing on the Netflix side, so…you’re not really paying for the movie. On silver, you have to pay for the TV show or movie that you download. Here, you don’t, so the relationship in gold kind of takes care of that funny business.”

If you don’t have a Gold subscription, you should probably get one for the added benefits to begin with, and the Netflix relationship only makes this a greater reason to get one. I just wish Microsoft made Xbox Live a monthly-pay service.

45 Responses to “Netflix Watch Now limited to Xbox Live Gold subscribers”

  1. on 23 Nov 2008 at 2:28 AM 1.Boboid said …

    XBox Live is not useful to me and I don’t want it. I already pay Netflix, and it’s stupid that I have to also pay Microsoft to download movies that I already paid Netflix for. LAME

  2. on 24 Nov 2008 at 7:20 AM 2.Wesley Novack said …

    I agree. I think it’s lame that Microsoft requires the Gold subscription in order to use Netflix.

  3. on 25 Nov 2008 at 2:05 PM 3.Steven Kippel said …

    Because Microsoft wanted to offer Netflix and keep it away from Sony they’re paying for exclusivity. This means they’re passing the cost on to the end user on the Xbox. Most users already pay this cost though.

  4. on 06 Dec 2008 at 2:14 PM 4.Justin said …

    I have an Xbox, and it’s mostly for playing DVDs. I play a game here and there, especially when company comes over, but I have absolutely no need for an Xbox Live Gold Membership, until now… with my subscription to Netflix, but I would just feel cheated to have to pay fifty bucks a year for a Gold Membership, which essentially is just a conduit for the web for someone like me. They should look into a cheaper rate for just Netflix customers who have no interest in the online multi-playing side of things, like ten bucks a year, or maybe even twenty, but fifty?

  5. on 20 Jan 2009 at 9:14 PM 5.Oliver said …

    I just dont get this…. if I do not pay 2 years of Gold I can buy a Roku and I do not need to pay anymore other than NetFlix.. I though that having an Xbox ( which is not cheap and I bought it when it was pricey ).

    Now. How come the streaming have to pass thought the Xbox Live? can’t they make it from Net flix to xbox direclty??? I honestly don’t use live that much.. so this is adding 4 or 5 bucks a month to the netflix subscription fee for no added value.

  6. on 01 Feb 2009 at 6:04 PM 6.Dylan K said …

    I love instantly watching Netflix on my Roku player! I only paid a one time cost of $99 to purchase the Netflix Roku player and it works great. Paying the extra $50 fee for xbox to get Netflix sounds like a total rip off.

  7. on 10 Feb 2009 at 9:28 AM 7.Xbox owners approve of Netflix streaming » Blu-ray, HDTV, DVD info at WesleyTech.com said …

    […] and Microsoft collaborated last November. Netflix “Watch Now” streaming video is available to all Xbox Live Gold subscribers who also subscribe to Netflix at the $8.99 level (one DVD at a time) and up. Downloading and […]

  8. on 14 Aug 2009 at 6:05 AM 8.Xavier said …

    I’ a Xbox 360 user with a Silver account, and for my lack of social gaming, Silver works out to be the right account for me. I’m also a paying Netflix member (3 at a time/unlimited). And I don’t see it as a good thing that I’m excluded from streaming my NetFlix que to my paid for Xbox 360 over my paid for DSL connection. In other words, they can do what they want with the collaboration, but it does not entice me to pay an additional fee to stream something that I could through a web browser, or just wait for in the mail, or worse for Netflix (regarding some of their Long Wait and Very Long Wait titles), just go to a rental store competitor and rent it within a day versus several months.

    Evolve the service or find it lacking.

  9. on 03 Sep 2009 at 9:00 AM 9.Cucillo said …

    I just returned home from a trip abroad to find that the 1 year X-Box live Gold subscription I used only twice to watch movies through Netflix has expired. I had no idea the Netflix feature was tied to the Gold subscription. I would call that double dipping. In my opinion, Microsoft shouldn’t even be charging for the Gold service. As it stands now, Live Gold is a rip off. Honestly, Microsoft wants you to provide your own connection, subscribe to Netflix, and pay to play online with friends. PC and PS3 users can do that without additional costs. For now, I’ll simply connect my Mac to the TV and stream from there. It’s a shame too, this little feature was the only thing running my X-Box 360 these days. I’m not much of a gamer, but I enjoyed the media server capabilities of the X-Box 360. Every one of my Microsoft experiences feels like a rip off; consistently. Greedy!

  10. on 25 Oct 2009 at 2:06 PM 10.Chad said …

    Dude, if you just want to stream movies then get a Roku player.

  11. on 15 Nov 2010 at 7:59 PM 11.ps3/xbox/bluray owner said …

    seriously what the hell? no wonder everyone downloads new movies online for free. might be illegal but its less nonsense! lol…
    Seriously though, i have a $10 unlimited subsription to netflix and a ps3 thats always connected online for FREE and it includes a netflix app, again for FREE, and then i have a bluray dvd player with wifi and that also includes a netflix app for FREE. and I can also watch netflix movies on my laptop, again for Free!! so why in blue hell would i pay $50 a year for xbox live GOLD just to watch the same movies i can see on my other systems?! it makes me hate xbox enough to badmouth it to other people. bad business karma goes to microsoft on that part. xbox lost themselves a customer for trying to play me.

  12. on 26 Nov 2010 at 5:32 PM 12.Microsoft's Gray Friday said …

    We just decided as a family that we’d like to get an Xbox 360. One interesting feature (to me, anyway) was the ability to stream Netflix via the device. Thanks to this site, I know that this service doesn’t exist without an additional overcharge. Apparently, Microsoft is trying to make used car dealers look good?

    I don’t understand what the Live Gold membership has to do with anything. If I were to get a PS3, there would be no additional fee to use Netflix. So… what’s the point?

    Thanks, Microsoft. But, no thanks. I was about to head out to the store to pick up an Xbox 360. But, now that I see that Microsoft’s keen on pilfering nickles and dimes, I think we’ll skip a gaming system this holiday system.

    Classic case of ‘penny-wise, pound foolish…’

  13. on 26 Nov 2010 at 10:23 PM 13.Marco said …

    Hi I just bought an xbox 360 as it seemed to be a good way to stream netflix to my computer and also be able to see all my pictures from my computer. I connected and I realized that I need the gold membership to be able to connect to Netflix, all I have to say is that I am returning the xbox. I am not a gamer so I was not planing on using it too much for games, it was more for the nextflix and network, but I really do not want to pay for gold membership. I just wanted to share.,

  14. on 27 Nov 2010 at 10:06 PM 14.Mac said …

    Thanks for confirming this, I am returning my Xbox 360 w/ Kinect back to the store. Netflix is kinda important part to the family entertainment.

    I currently stream Netflix through my PS3 on the family room HD TV (no charge from Sony) and stream Netflix through Wii at our bedroom TV (no charge from Nintendo). To find out that I have to shell another $50 (each and every year!?) to be able to Netflix, Facebook or Twitter was an overkill. Heck; we even watch YouTube from the other consoles just fine (free).

    The Kinect was really cool for about a week until we grew tired of it. For casual gamers like us, not worth the hype for now. Even my son back to his old original Xbox playing Sonic game.

    Come on Microsoft, really? Nickel and dime us won’t ya? The console is great but some of us isn’t get paid $45 per hour like your employees. And I was just recommending a friend to get an Xbox 360 too…

  15. on 25 Dec 2010 at 7:03 PM 15.Bruce said …

    We already subscribe to Netflix and can watch it through our PC’s and Wii for nothing extra. Guess what, Microsoft? We’re not subscribing to your totally lame service that is nothing but 100% profit for you. “Adding value to Gold membership.” How stupid do you think people are? Maybe we’ll return our Xbox, too, and get a PS3 instead.

  16. on 27 Dec 2010 at 10:48 AM 16.jodi said …

    this is ridiculous and am now also returning my xbox and going with ps3. big mistake made.

  17. on 27 Dec 2010 at 8:20 PM 17.al said …

    jump to PS3 , microsoft is rip off.

  18. on 28 Dec 2010 at 12:46 AM 18.brad said …

    I also bought one of these XBOXES and really Microsoft trying to charge me 50 bucks to stream? I read an article that Microsoft says it uses more bandwidth. Microsoft thats not your problem at all. The 50 per year is a rip off and will probably come to be a class action suit where microsoft will have to refund all of the 50 stolen for use to connect to Netflix. Seriously. All the XBOX is is a computer with a Netflix APP. Hell Netflix even pays for the building of the APP. Quit stealing from us microsoft.

  19. on 29 Dec 2010 at 8:58 PM 19.Mike said …

    Sooo…just went through the pain of setting up the ‘ol xbox 360 my son got for Christmas as an extender device for Windows Media Center. After getting all the ridiculous network setting adjusted on the pc and the xbox, it turned out to be an epic fail. Microsoft demands 10 dollars a month for me to watch Netflix, which I find funny because an unlimited streaming only account from Netflix is only $7.99.
    Anyways, it also failed to play a single video from any of my digital cameras that the pc plays just fine. It failed to play anything from the internet TV tab (except for commercials, it seemed to do that just fine) and was an over all miserable experience. In short nothing worked, seriously. Netflix is free to stream on the PC, Wii, PS3, Roku, dozens of Blu-Ray players, TVs and on and on. Why the hell does Microsoft think we would want to pay extra for the privilege of watching it on the xbox? I wish companies like Microsoft and Apple would battle to the death with no winners so we can get rid of all their proprietary ownership of products the WE buy and OWN. Rant rant rant…

  20. on 02 Jan 2011 at 12:01 PM 20.Nik said …

    I smell a Class Action Lawsuit – Hello Microsoft wake-up and try to use some telent ot make money for once – not under-handed tricks

  21. on 02 Jan 2011 at 10:49 PM 21.cait said …

    It’s stupid that every other console/bluray player lets you stream netflix for free, yet M$ forces you into a gold membership for the same feature. I love my 360 and I think LIVE is a great service but jeez, did they really have to tie this feature in with it?

  22. on 07 Jan 2011 at 9:05 PM 22.Andy said …

    You can watch over the Wii or online for free! Microsoft is so stupid! I will not buy another Xbox game until this changes.

  23. on 09 Jan 2011 at 7:55 AM 23.Suhman said …

    I agree with everyone. I love my kinect games but I understand that my xbox is only a game console but not a media center (unless I pay for gold). At the same time, ps3 is a game console + it is pretty good media center. If microsoft enable the netflix app for silver account, then I am with xbox, or else I am more happy to return my xbox for ps3.

  24. on 11 Jan 2011 at 8:55 AM 24.Pat said …

    just get yourself a blu ray player with wifi and you can watch netflix and do almost everyhtin nthat you can do on the xbox live gold account . and its FREE its also cheaper to buy the blue ray player. even if you dont watch blu ray movies it really is the way to go

  25. on 13 Jan 2011 at 10:53 AM 25.Nate said …

    A co-worker was just telling me how cool kinect is. My wife has been hinting she’d like a wii (she’s a little behind the times but everyone else has one.)

    Hmmm…. maybe I should get a kinect, and impress her and the kids with my super techno wisdom and coolness!

    My Plan: Go out and drop a chunk of my tax return on an xbox 360 and kinect. We already have a roku but I think we can just use the xbox instead of the roku. Hey, I could even toss the DVD player too!

    [scratching record sound]

    Wait, hold everything. Apparently I have to pay a subscription fee if I want to watch my netflix through the xbox instead of the roku? Wait, that doesn’t make sense – are you sure? Yes. Unbelievable. I can’t unplug my roku and throw it away in favor of a brand new xbox with kinect? Microsoft doesn’t want to replace my other hardware with a shiny new xbox 360?

    Hmm, so much for that plan. Sour taste in my mouth. Mental note to self: Do not buy xbox. Do not buy kinect. Continue to use roku. The kids can use their friend’s wii, or maybe we should just get one — I know it is inferior to the kinect, but they don’t know that and won’t care. Wait, will the wii do netflix? Yes. For free? Yes. Interesting, maybe the wii isn’t so bad after all. After all, it is good enough for the neighbors.

    Or maybe the kids can just play at their friends’ house. My wife will forget about her fleeting thought to get a wii. Impulse buy averted. Sanity restored.

    Maybe I should invest in a media pc (dell zino?) that isn’t tied to a silly subscription. Maybe one day the kinect will work with a PC. Maybe things will change. Maybe Microsoft will move the netflix to the silver account. I’ll think about it again next year. Oh well, back to work…

  26. on 13 Jan 2011 at 8:09 PM 26.Jen said …

    I need to know how to connect to netflix with the xbox live gold membership card. For some reason It is not letting me. And really??? The price for just the movies of 50$ a year is CHEAP. Better idea for all of these people…. Instead of going n spending money every wkend at the bar or just for you to drink then you will have the exxtra money…..

  27. on 23 Jan 2011 at 5:43 PM 27.harrv said …

    Jen, really? Just stop doing fun things and we’ll quickly save $50? That’s not the point. The point is that Wii streams Netflix movies for no extra cost, PS2 streams Netflix movies for no extra cost, PCs and laptops stream movies for no extra cost. Even iPhones and iPads can do it. Why then does Microsoft want an extra $50 a year to do it? It makes no sense other than greed.

    I’m adding my note of disapproval and will return my console. I never would have bought it if I knew about this extra charge. Bad Microsoft. Bad!

  28. on 03 Feb 2011 at 7:00 PM 28.rogols said …

    I am just amazed that you are required to pay more to watch a netflix movie thru your xbox. I am really regretting having purchased an xbox. Never again…..

  29. on 16 Feb 2011 at 12:26 PM 29.scorpio808 said …

    I am a PS3 owner, as a matter of fact, i have two (2) PS3’s. Before you Xbox queens start bashing, i also have a Wii and and Xbox Kinect for my daughters. I have 5 kids in total. Now, the Wii surprisingly does NOT play DVD’s (check it online) and the Kinect from what I see is pretty amusing in many respects, but with my daughter’s XboX gold memebership expired, they cannot watch netflix. Now I can understand that Microsoft wants to add value but in my opinion, the XboX is just a “box” now. Sure they can play local games but that is about it.

    I have a Playstation and yes, I know they are pricey but compared to what I see from Microsoft, i consider my PS3 to be an investment. I can play 3D games, stream Netflix for free (aside from paying Netflix to have their service of course) and enjoy my online gaming for free. I always hear about XboX has more games and stuff, but my PS3 has only undergone 1 change since its inception versus XboX has the Kinect, 360 and Arcade versions of itself. Now a “720” is coming out – but I can bet it wont play Blu-Ray. Kudos to Sony.

  30. on 04 Mar 2011 at 8:57 PM 30.stupidXmov said …

    Xbox is really disappointing game console to me, I not want to pay another $50 every year to watch netflix. I am going to return Xbox back to sams club…

  31. on 14 Mar 2011 at 3:09 PM 31.360stupid said …

    Totally LAME. Getting a Wii…no charge for netflix

  32. on 30 Mar 2011 at 4:28 PM 32.Pete said …

    I just signed up for Netflix, assuming there wouldn’t be a problem streaming with the 360. Should’ve done some research but it just didn’t cross my mind that MS would be so damn cheap. Now I have to cancel it without even watching a show.
    I hope you at Microsoft read this page and take every comment to heart.
    We’re all extremely disappointed in you.
    I will never buy a Gold membership. Any chance I had of that is gone now after this cheap trick.
    Get your shit together.

  33. on 08 Apr 2011 at 2:07 PM 33.Natalie said …

    Yup, the grabby buggers have done it again, now we know how Bill Gates managed to make millions. I too will be selling the XBox 360 I just bought and purchasing a PS3 Sony wins Microsoft loses if we all do this they may rethink the strategy.

  34. on 22 Apr 2011 at 4:01 PM 34.Alex Meoll said …

    To hell with microsoft and their BS cash grabs. I bought a PS3 recently, and I an infinitely MORE satisfied with is than with my Xbox. I am disgusted to have an xbox in my home. Why the HELL would I want to pay for Netflix AND a gold membership. Frankly, I’d rather just watch shows on my PC, there’s no way in hell I’m paying extra for a worthless Gold membership. Sony is doing their shit properly. Free fucking online play, free Netflix. Fuck Microsoft, PERIOD.

  35. on 25 Apr 2011 at 6:34 PM 35.Paul said …

    Try leaving your feedback on on xbox’s web page maybe they will read it.

    here is a copy of what I put on their web page under feedback

    Nobody with an ounce of common sense is going to pay you $50 bucks for a gold membership to watch netflix .
    Time to get rid of the xbox and get a wii .
    You got a bet going to see how fast you can get people to hate you more , well it’s working keep it up and you will win the bet fast.

  36. on 14 May 2011 at 11:04 PM 36.BoredNL said …

    I really wanted Netflix. I loved their streaming service. I had signed up and then excitedly went to my 360, waited for the app to install.. Ran it and.. What? It said I needed to pay for gold subscription? I thought I misread things. I reinstalled the app and then researched online.

    I was astounded. I had previously paid for the gold subscription for several years before I gave up on it. I only played 1 game online (halo) and finally got bored of the series at Halo 3.

    Xbox Live has absolutely nothing to do with streaming from Netflix, just as streaming Netflix to my PC has nothing to do with windows servers!

    Microsoft is practically stealing from their customers! Suffice it to say, I am no longer proud to own a 360. This is morally reprehensible. I’ve spent over $1,000 on Microsoft products and probably would’ve spent thousands more over the years, but after dealing with Microsoft for a while (and not feeling like I was getting my money’s worth), this Netflix thing was the last straw. I haven’t purchased a single game since that moment and I never will again.

    I don’t care if the next console Microsoft releases is 20 times more powerful than any competitor’s and has 20 times more games. I can thank Microsoft for one thing though. They’ve made the decision making process much easier for me when I decide to buy another console.

    Additionally, I have convinced several friends and family members who were interested in buying a 360 not to and to instead buy a PS3. I also can’t use Netflix, since it’d only be useful on my TV through my 360. Netflix has also lost a loyal customer here for allowing this.

  37. on 21 May 2011 at 4:42 PM 37.Jeff said …

    I was going to buy an XBox 250GB w/Kinect today at CostCo. Streaming Netflix was 50% reason for the purchase. I will not because of the $50 annual fee and just use my $99 WD TV Live in 1 rm and PC with a $8 25ft HDMI cable in the other. Is Microsoft CRAZY or do potential buyers not know about this scam?

  38. on 26 May 2011 at 2:42 PM 38.Greg said …

    I got on just to complain about this. I have several devices, an Ipad a Western digital hd live plus and laptops that let me watch Netflix. I thought naturally that my $400 Xbox Kinect system would let me do it too. Nope, I’d have to pay for a gold membership. For what? Ridiculous. I wish I’d bought a PS3, that damn kinect suckered us in. Microsoft has to wise up. online contact should be free. Charge for the services and downloads that add value…

  39. on 13 Jun 2011 at 9:51 AM 39.Cliff said …

    I was warned about the Xbox and I didn’t listen, I should have bought the PS3!!! Oh well….hey Microsoft, guess who’ll never get my business again! Adding unwarranted and greedy fees like this is how companies lose customers and start their demise.

  40. on 14 Jun 2011 at 2:03 PM 40.Pat said …

    if only the owners of microsoft could see this page…maybe some sense would be knocked into them

  41. on 26 Jun 2011 at 8:34 AM 41.Mike said …

    I was truly disappointed when I was blocked from veiwing Netflix on my XBox 360. Thankfully I have a PS, Wii and an extra PC with an HDMI connection. Sorry Microsoft, you only come out of the box to play Kinect games with the kids. Which is about once a month if that. I am a PC Gamer so Xbox has never been high on my list anyway. I smell a class action lawsuit too. This website should be ashamed to say that the Gold is worth the benefit to access something I already purchased. It is probally a undercover MS website.

  42. on 26 Jun 2011 at 8:30 PM 42.CE said …

    Stupid me… bought an XBox 360 with Kinect thinking it would give me a gaming box and a media console – state of the art right? Not so I guess. Here I am trying to figure out what I buy now to stream netflix. Should have bought the PS3 instead. Microsoft – wake up to the new world. Not everything needs to be under your control. Very dissapointed – will never rely on a Microsoft console again.

  43. on 13 Sep 2011 at 9:31 PM 43.ra said …

    It’s amusing to see these comments spanning 3 years.

    I just happened to read one of the netflix offers i got in the mail (they come with a frequency that reminds me of the AOL CDs of old!). For whatever reason i scanned the offer and then read the fine print at the bottom where it said that for Xbox Live you need Gold. My reaction: WTF?! then google and then here i am.

    i have an Xbox 360 that i play games on sometimes but never got gold. Like almost everyone else it’s just the arbitrary FU from Microsoft here that’s the problem. The article talks about bandwidth usage… well that’s a fair point, but perhaps if they didn’t design their system in such a way that the data had to transition through their servers then this wouldn’t be an issue (and honestly if they ARE proxying each and every stream so it goes from Netflix to MS (on anything other than a “peered” or colocated equipment ) and then to users that’s just a wasteful way of shipping video around).

  44. on 19 Sep 2011 at 11:36 PM 44.Demon said …

    I would have to agree with everyone here. It’s unabashed greed that Microsoft will make you pay $60 a year to stream Netflix when you’re already paying for the Internet service and the Netflix subscription. What’s the point to that other than greed? I do own a 360, but use it just for offline gaming as they have some pretty RAD exclusive titles. If I want Netflix, I’ll go to my PS3, 3DS, iPad, blu-ray player or my PC, which all are free, except for the electricity and Internet service obviously. If Microsoft wants to charge for online gaming and such, fine, but not for Netflix. I just go to the XBox if I wanna play Gears of War, Halo, Forza, etc…..

  45. on 09 Oct 2011 at 7:04 AM 45.KimVol said …

    Every time I buy a Microsoft product I feel and am being ripped off.

    Have a Netflix account, MacBooks, iPhones and Wii and can watch Netflix anywhere. Kid wanted the XBox Kinect did not enough research and am now being forced to pay again for Netflix and other nonsense. 50 dollars a year, I run over to the Apple store purchase an AppleTV for 99 and can watch Netflix unlimited.

    A class action would be perfect to show Microsoft that we are not brain dead customers that can be pick pocketed whenever they feel like it.
    2nd hand car sales men look like angels compared to this.

    Shame on you.

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