Seemingly unfazed by the legal wrangling over its existence, Aereo is adding another incentive to grow its subscriber base by adopting a new pricing plan that would eliminate long-term commitments and offer the first 30 days free.
Aereo calls this “streamlined pricing” in that it not only gets rid of long-term contracts or commitments, but also breaks it down to $8 per month for access and 20 hours of DVR storage. For $12 per month, subscribers can triple the DVR bucket to 60 hours. And the kicker? The first month is free, no matter what.
If this model sounds familiar, it’s because it is. Netflix’s business model is also a flat rate of $8 per month with a 30-day trial to start. You don’t get a DVR in that case, of course, but then again, Netflix doesn’t stream anything live.
The new plans go into effect tomorrow, the same day that Aereo goes live in Boston, the first city the upstart company has expanded to outside of its home base of New York. Atlanta is next on June 17, and another 20 markets are expected to go live over the course of the year.
Those who are already subscribers will have to stick to their current plans until their term is up before being able to change to the new structure. Existing subscribers paying $12 per month now will automatically be upgraded to the 60-hour DVR package.
Broadcasters have been none too pleased at what they call Aereo’s “stealing” of their free over-the-air TV signals, and have launched a legal case against the upstart. Aereo has counter-sued to protect its operations and expansion. To add another spoke to the wheel, ABC plans to launch an app that would allow people in New York and Philadelphia to watch live programming directly on their iOS devices.