UPDATE: As part of a recent (June 2014) delivering more choices for fans announcement, Microsoft stated that Xbox 360 and Xbox One users will no longer require Xbox Live Gold memberships to use Netflix. Originally, you were required to pay for Xbox Live Gold and have a Netflix subscription (this was not included with your Gold subscription). Now all you need is a Netflix subscription. If you already have a Gold subscription for the other benefits, you can keep it up – but if you are considering letting it expire, at least you can continue to use Netflix on your TV through your Xbox 360 and Xbox One.
The update change is likely to begin around June 9th, 2014. June is all that has been confirmed, but there is a rumored dashboard update for around June 9th that will likely “unlock” these features. From Microsoft: “Coming in June, anyone with an Xbox will be able to access popular entertainment experiences – whether or not you have an Xbox Live Gold membership. This includes great gaming apps like Machinima, Twitch and Upload, popular video services like Netflix, Univision Deportes, GoPro, Red Bull TV and HBO GO, sports experiences like the NFL app for Xbox One, MLB.TV, NBA Game Time, NHL Game Center and more.” If you recently signed up for Xbox Live, specifically to use apps like these, you can read more details about the changes and even request a refund of recently purchased Xbox Live memberships after the update is released in June.
Original article follows.
You may have recently purchased an Xbox 360 to use it as a media player, more so than for gaming. NPD numbers show that 360’s are the top selling console for nearly two straight years, now. But as you’re trying to get this all set up, you learn that Microsoft requires you to buy Xbox Live Gold membership packages, in order to use Netflix. Although I have explained that Gold Status has its benefits, I did not answer a popular question: is Netflix Free with Xbox Live? Unfortunately, the answer is no.
Microsoft isn’t double dipping – Netflix is charging their fee, and Microsoft is charging theirs. As seen in the link above, there are other reasons to “Go Gold.” But people who plan to just use the Xbox as a glorified Netflix box, may want to consider the PS3, which currently has no fee. The Wii and Wii U also can access Netflix (though the Wii cannot do it in Hi-Def, and the Wii-Slim can’t access the internet at all, from what I understand). Although those platforms do not currently charge any of their own fees, I am a firm believer that you get what you pay for. I trust Microsoft the most, and since I am taking advantages of the other services Gold level membership offers, I don’t mind. But, a rude surprise for some, is that most, if not all, of the apps available on the Xbox 360 require you to maintain your Gold status membership. The good news is, you can always try to find a discounted subscription card.