Mailed DVD rentals?
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?