Mailed DVD rentals?

12/27/2007:

blockbuster-hoboken-netflix-dvd.jpgI’ve been meaning to ask which of you subscribe to DVD rental places (like Netflix or Blockbuster,) but never got around to it.

But I’ve been reading about some of the issues Blockbuster is having recently, and thought I’d post a tidbit about it.

Being a continuous Netflix charter member since 1999, I can say that I’m not sure I know what it feels like to even step foot in a video store anymore. As Netflix gained in popularity, it changed video rental mentality across the board as it wreaked havoc on the brick & mortar business model. Blockbuster, the big rental giant was forced to re-structure their model to compete, as well as close almost 600 stores in the past two years. Even Hollywood Video recently shut its doors in Hoboken.

While Blockbuster initially had competitive pricing with Netflix and has been reported to be the cause of Netflix’s first ever decline in subscribers in 2007, they’ve recently begun rapidly raising their rates for certain customers. Blockbuster, while offering “mail only” rental services very similar to Netflix, also offered plans that allow you to also exchange unlimited rentals at the stores as well ($17.99/3 DVD’s at a time), which caught quite a few customers eyes. In August of 2007, they modified their model to also offer a plan to put a limit on the number of in-store exchanges to (5) per calendar month. This remained at $17.99 per month, while the “unlimited” store exchanges rose $7.00 to $24.99 per month.

As of tomorrow, December 27, 2007, the “unlimited” store exchange/3 DVD’s per month plan rises another $10 to $34.99 per month. It’s apparent keeping the brick & mortar store model is costing them more than they thought, and they’re passing that cost along to you, the consumer. It’s unsure at this point whether the fixed 5-DVD per month store exchange plan can survive at the price. Maybe too many people were watching 10 & 20+ movies per month? I don’t know anyone who has that much time.

I’m a die-hard Netflix user (although 2007 I hardly had the time to watch more than 10!), and doubt I’ll switch. Who uses Blockbuster, and how do you like it? What other services do you use?

{democracy:95}

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19 Comments on "Mailed DVD rentals?"

jpl
Member

[quote comment=”59405″]Not yet, JPL but here is a recent review.

http://www.forbes.com/business/forbes/2007/1210/072.html%5B/quote%5D

Seems like it has great reviews, I’m sure it will come down to available content. No worrying about the format is key, and a simple UI makes it even better. And at 400, it’s cheaper than just about every dual format player. Me likie.

YipYap
Member

Not yet, JPL but here is a recent review.

http://www.forbes.com/business/forbes/2007/1210/072.html

jpl
Member

Yip-

Do you have a VuDu box? I didnt know they existed, and was just looking for HD content via netflix… vudu seems like such a nicer solution, and I dont need to worry about the whole blu-ray/HD-dvd mess. Besides, paying on demand as opposed to subscription based works much better for me.

I’m going to double check my bandwidth from home tonight, and order one up.

YipYap
Member

NetFlix = waiting plain and simple. I do not want to wait for the mail to arrive in this on demand digital world we live in. I would rather download the movie, watch pay-per-view, or take a walk over to the video store, or perhaps even subscribe to a better download service like vudu.com for 1080p movies.

Just last night there was a story out about Apple and movie downloads. They will be announcing a movie rental business over iTunes next year. Since it is Steve jobs and Apple you can expect the Movie Studios to ink deals with Apple for distribution via download using Apples encrypted secure formats.

Rental companies like Netflix operate on only 4% margins and cannot afford to take much of a hit if sales decline, and Apple surely will be taking a chunk
out of Netflix’s growth plans.

Just last week Walmart dropped their movie service https://mediadownloads.walmart.com// paving the way for iTunes service and Amazon.com’s
Unbox download service. Rent your movie for only 99 cents on demand.

You can expect the little guy NetFlix which has been trying to whore itself to Amazon for about three years now to be crushed. Their exclusive deal with Tivo did nothing for them and the real players will be Amazon, Apple , Microsoft, Sony, he telcons and cable companies.

So keep on snail mailing your movies folks, while some of us “evolve” and download on demand.

hobokencat
Member
hobokencat

I love NetFlix and am guessing that there is more of a demand for movies now due to the lack of new and interesting TV shows. Unless, of course, ‘reality’ TV tickles your fancy.

For the amount of movies I rent per month, I certainly save myself $ w/NetFlix rather than going to a video store and paying (what is the price of a rental these days?)

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