HOUSE OF CARDS Remember when they tried to get us to take a hamster subplot seriously?
  • HOUSE OF CARDS Remember when they tried to make us give a shit about a hamster subplot?

If you've already got Netflix, you're fine—the $8 you're currently paying a month for all the streaming video you can cram into your eye sockets will be be your rate through May 2016. If you don't have Netflix, though, you'll be paying their new rate whenever you do sign up—a dollar more, at $9 a month. (And even if you've been holding out, you will sign up, because this is the way of things.)

As Alison pointed out a few weeks ago, Portland's thankfully doing pretty alright, comparatively, as far as the great, Netflix-sponsored Video Store Massacre goes: we've still got six local video stores, including one of the country's best, Movie Madness. But as services like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video continue to take over, and—even with these little price hikes—continue to be cheap (as The Dissolve notes, Amazon's Prime membership makes their Instant Video service come in at only $8.50 a month), more and more locally owned, brick-and-mortar stores are going to close. Streaming—even with its focus on blander, more mainstream titles, and even with its unpredictable, constantly churning selection—is still more convenient than physical renting, especially as store locations dwindle. And for those watching more than one or two movies a month, it's also a whole lot cheaper.

The real shift, though, is going to be when Netflix and Amazon realize how well they've trained consumers—and when that happens, they can stop dicking around with these little price jumps and move in for the kill. Something I've been thinking about ever since Paul's post about Blockbuster giving up the ghost is that, as video stores continue to go out of business, there's going to be nothing holding back the streaming services back from charging whatever they want.