Netflix vs. Blockbuster – Why is Netflix winning?

Netflix vs. Blockbuster movies by mail[Editor’s Note: For a more recent Netflix vs. Blockbuster article, read this.]

Why is Netflix winning the movie rental race? We looked at base plans for both Blockbuster and Netflix — one a brick and mortar movie rental giant with a few thousand stores and kiosks opening nationwide, and the other a movie-by-mail enterprise which has taken the market by storm. First let’s look at what they are offering.

The Netflix base plan costs $8.99 with a Blu-ray Disc option for an extra $2 per month. This allows you to have one disc out at a time but unlimited as to how many you rent. The Blockbuster base plan also costs $8.99 per month for one disc out at time, but they don’t charge extra for Blu-ray discs.

Netflix and Blockbuster allow you to choose from their library of titles online, and Blockbuster has added the ability of picking up those titles once selected from local kiosks. Netflix is a “virtual” store with no retail stores or kiosks.

Both options have quick delivery time (between 1 and 2 days) and close to 100,000 titles (some in Blu-ray). Blockbuster has the additional service of allowing in-store returns and exchanges (with restrictions).

As far as digital delivery, both Netflix and Blockbuster offer titles on demand to Blu-ray players and HDTVs over the internet (although Netflix has more supported devices). But Blockbuster’s pay-per-title version isn’t nearly as competitive as Netflix’s unlimited streaming at no extra charge (although Blockbuster does have first-run movies — an advantage over Netflix).

Finally, both services allow online viewing on your PC but Blockbuster rentals and downloads require a PC running Windows XP or Windows Vista. Netflix is compatible with any browser on both PC and Mac platforms.

So why is Netflix leaving Blockbuster in the dust?

Blockbuster has alienated customers with their inconsistent late fee policies, which supposedly were done away with but are now returning according to an insider article earlier this week from Home Media Magazine.

There could also be the public perception that Blockbuster is going out of business, or at least bankrupt, as Blockbuster recently announced they would be closing over 545 stores this year (they have already closed over 1,300).

To pour more salt on the wounds, the fourth quarter ’09 was disastrous for Blockbuster, who suffered a $435 million loss while Netflix profits were up $36 million. Netflix also added 1.16 million subscribers during the same quarter, which you can believe given their excessive online marketing.

Netflix has practically bombarded web surfers with ads and pop-unders from its affiliate partners. If you haven’t experienced a Netflix pop-under ad, you probably don’t spend too much time online. Sure the ads are annoying, but the product is good.

Finally, you can’t talk movie rentals without mentioning Redbox. They have about 20,000 kiosks nationwide and are currently dominating the market. Redbox isn’t streaming movies to your HDTV or Playstation 3 (not yet anyway) but have a large customer base that seems just fine paying $1 per day to rent a movie, rather than paying monthly membership fees for services they might not use.

Read all Netflix related stories on HD Report.

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Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot

Jeff Chabot writes about technology, broadcasting, and digital entertainment. You can also find him on Gameverse, Gadget Review, and Google+.

23 Replies to “Netflix vs. Blockbuster – Why is Netflix winning?”

  1. Jill says:

    I have many DVDs and only 5 Blu-Rays until I replace the DVDs. I like DVDs better. I have a DVD/Blu-Ray combo player but my laptop plays DVDs and CDs only. I also enjoy the fact of paying less money for a Disney or Universal movie then paying super high price per film on Blu-Ray! Walmart has THOUSANDS of DVDs in favor more so less of Blu-Ray! I also like how Target has a lot of DVDs too and a few Blu-Ray. Walmart has like 4 rows of DVDs and 2 $5 Bins filled with DVDs. Target only has like 2 rows of Blu-Rays and rest are DVDs. I like the fact of taking my movies on the go and play them on my laptop! Blu-Ray drives on a PC makes them more expensive! I prefer the cheaper prices of DVDs. Also, TV shows are only available on DVD, not many on Blu-Ray! Even old school shows like Bewitched, Family Matters, Full House, The Simpsons, etc, only on DVD! Same thing for Japanese Anime, only on DVD! I have been collecting DVD since 1995 when it came out. I use to own old school VHS tapes till I made the switch! DVDs forever!

  2. Damon says:

    I’m subscribed to both as one has movies the other one doesn’t but Netflix remains the best. I’ve been with Netflix for a year and received 2 bad discs. I’ve been with Blockbuster for 1 month and received 2 bad discs that a blind man would know they wouldn’t play (yes they were in that bad of condition)
    My Netflix dvds arrive in 1 day, Blockbuster takes 3 days ( I live 3 hours from the warehouse).
    Even after the rate increase, Netflix is still $5 month cheaper than Blockbuster for thier 3 discs at a time service.
    I will stay with both for awhile due to availability of some of the older movies I want to see, but Blockbusters days with me are definitely numbered.

  3. Jack says:

    I just switched from Blockbuster to Netflix. It was a terrible decision. I’m switching back to Blockbuster immediately. Netflix has absolutely no new, good movies. If you look at the Netflix Top 100 rentals, only 5 of them are available for streaming. If you go to new arrivals, Shutter Island shows up, that came out on Blockbuster in June of 2010. How is a movie a year 1/2 old a new arrival? The fact that I can’t watch the movie Inception with streaming is ridiculous. And if I add dvds to my plan, I still can’t get the new movies that Blockbuster does. There is no competition between the two companies. Blockbuster is way better than Netflix. The only leg up Netflix has is the instant streaming; however, none of the movies available for instant streaming are any good or new.

  4. Andrew says:

    Personally I’m done with Netflix. They became way too much of a hassle, and with the price hike, kind of expensive for what I was getting out of it too. I have the Blockbuster Movie Pass now, and it’s much better. Now I realize I could be called biased since I’m a long time subscriber (and more recently an employee) of DISH Network, but Blockbuster costs less at $10 a month, and includes streaming to my receiver and computer, DVD’s, Blu-rays and video games (which lets me cancel my $14.99/month Gamefly account), plus 20 movie channels. And it’s all on the same bill so it’s easier too.

  5. SARAH J BYNUM says:

    I HAVE ROKU BOX AND A 2WIRE FOR INTERNET AND A VIZIO TV-WHY CAN’T GET BLOCKBUSTER TO SHOW MOVIES. SO FAR NO ONE AT BLOCKBUSTER CAN SOLVE THIS. SARAH BYNUM

  6. CRYSTAL says:

    What’s the point of online membership if I have to go to the store. I don’t want to burn gas going to the store, if I’m paying to have movies delivered. I’ve had my Blockbuster membership for years. I switched to the online mail order service when it first started. Since then, the prices have only gone up. They recently dropped the price 2 bucks but I won’t be surprised if it goes up again. That’s just how they operate. I’ve recently signed with Netflix and personally I like the unlimited streaming. I can watch one movie through the WII while my son watches another on his laptop. So this service is worth waiting an extra month for. I mean if your gonna wait all that time for it to come to DVD what’s another month gonna hurt. If I wanna see a movie that bad I’ll take my ass to the theaters!! I’m going to cancel my Blockbuster membership!!! BB you guys can hit me when you have unlimited viewing until then so long!!!!

  7. mark B. says:

    they have so many rules and regulations they are completely forgetting about one thing — the customer is always right! that is rule one in retail!

    brie please let us know what happens when you try to cancel! – mark

  8. Brie again says:

    I guess I should have waited to post my review until my 4 weeks free Blockbuster trial was completed, but I thought I had enough information to write a thorough review. Unfortunately, in the last few days of my free trial, an already bad impression of this company, and this plan, just got worse.

    I had not used the in-store exchange program, mostly because I live in a remote location, and while it might be convenient for me to bring my movies in one day and exchange them for new movies, it would not be convenient to then have to travel back into town to return them. That’s why I got this mail service. I had based my review of the in-store exchange policy on what I had been led to believe it was. But I was wrong.

    I decided, since I only have a few days left of my free trial, and I absolutely do not intend to keep this overpriced, substandard service after the trial concludes, and because their mail service is SO slow, that I would suck it up and travel in and out of town every day to exchange movies, until Sunday, the last day of my free trial. Then on Sunday, after renting the last 3 movies, I would cancel my service, so there would be no charge on Monday. After all, my ridiculously expensive plan boasts “unlimited store exchanges.” That is why they charge an additional $15 on top of their 3-out-at-a-time plan. So I rented some movies, took them home and watched them, and brought them back the next day to exchange. They would not exchange them, because they will only “exchange” the mail voucher DVDs for in-store DVDs. So it’s a one-time shot. You make the exchange, rent movies from the store, bring them back, and then sit on your hands and wait, while they mail out replacements from their mail center. I was pretty pissed. What a worthless service. Certainly not worth an extra $15 a month! So I left, movie-less. I still had one movie at home (the replacement for the one I had mailed out the previous Friday, by the way, and they didn’t process it until sometime Monday, sent it out Tuesday, and then I didn’t get it until Thursday! A week turnaround!). So I watched that movie when I got home, and then went out of my way to return it to the Blockbuster store late that night, so it would be processed first thing in the morning, and so a replacement could be shipped out the same day from their mail processing center. But no! By 11am, *3 HOURS* after they opened, it still hadn’t been marked as checked in, so I had to call the Blockbuster store and ask about it. They said they were just getting ready to check it in, and did so on the phone, but by then it was too late for the mail processing center to mail out a new one today (why they can’t mail after 11a, I do not know), so that movie is done. By the time they process it on Monday, I will have closed this account.

    It gets better. When I called Blockbuster to complain that a new movie had not been processed, and asked if they could get on it, and get it out today, the rep told me it would be processed and shipped out within 48 hours! Netflix would have just said “Of course! I’ll get that right out!” And it gets EVEN better. When I said “but you mean 48 business hours, and you don’t process mail on Saturdays, so you mean it will be processed sometime next week.” He said that was true. I asked why they don’t process movies on Saturdays, and HE SAID!!! “Our warehouse is closed on Saturdays because USPS doesn’t process mail on weekends”!!! WHAT?! I said “Really?! I had no idea! You’re telling me the United States Postal Service doesn’t work on Saturdays? That’s amazing!” And he said yes, that was what he was saying. Unbelievable!

    There’s more… /sigh… not about the in-store-exchanges, but just about their crappy service. I found out why I could not change my plan last week – why they kept saying my card was invalid, or something… YOU CAN’T CHANGE YOUR PLAN WITHOUT THEM CHARGING YOU FOR THE NEW ONE!!!!! What the hell is that?! When I first signed up, they said I could change my plan at any time. They said nothing at all about having to pay for the next month when I did so. That is simply unacceptable.

    One more thing, and it’s sort of a small thing, but it’s annoying. When you check your account on the phone, it will tell you your next billing date and how much you will be charged on that date, and it’s a month behind. It will tell you whatever you’re paying now will be what you’ll be charged on your next billing date. So right now I’m paying nothing, and even though they will charge my card $34.99 on Monday if I don’t cancel on Sunday, when I call and check the status and details of my account, they say they will charge me $0 on Monday. Not cool. Some people, like me, plan for every penny. In this economy, we don’t have a lot of disposable money. For them to be that inaccurate is unacceptable. In this day and age, I expect better of their account management.

    So I guess I haven’t learned my lesson about posting a review too soon, because I’m going to go ahead and post this one now, even though I still have 2 days left of this service. I still have no idea what is going to happen when I try to cancel – if they will let me, or accidentally “forget” to, and then charge me anyway, or some other nonsense. We will just have to see. Let’s hope this is my last review, but otherwise I’ll touch back in a few days and let you know if it got even worse.

    There is one guy up there (John) who flipped out and went off on how anyone who doesn’t like this service is an idiot – he MUST work for them. Besides taking it WAY too personally that no one likes this service over Netflix, this service just plain sucks. I honestly don’t know how anyone could try them both and prefer Blockbuster. It’s just not worth it.

  9. Brie says:

    I don’t play video games, so I don’t care that Blockbuster offers them. My review is based solely on movie and TV show rentals.

    I don’t do a lot of streaming, so none of my review addresses the streaming comparisons other have made, though from what I’ve read, Netflix does that one much better too.

    Netflix does everything better. There isn’t a single thing Blockbuster offers that I like better than Netflix, and almost everything side by side Netflix does better.

    -Blockbuster costs more. For the same plan, Blockbuster charges more. That’s a negative right off the bat. Why pay more when you can pay less? And, by the way, get less IMO.

    -As near as I can tell, Blockbuster only ships/receives M-F, whereas Netflix ships/receives M-Sat. When I return a movie on Thursday, one on Friday, and one on Saturday to Netflix, I get a new one on Saturday, on Monday, and on Tuesday. Without fail. When I return one on Thursday, one on Friday, and one on Saturday with Blockbuster, I may or may not get a replacement on Saturday, and after that I get an email on Monday saying they’ve just received all the dvds I sent the end of the last week, and they are shipping out replacements. This time (today is Monday), they sent me an email saying they received the one I returned on Friday, and the two I returned on Saturday, but the one I returned on Friday was logged in last (so I think it sits on the bottom of the pile while they process all the ones just received), and they still haven’t sent out a replacement. So the one I sent back last Friday I won’t get a replacement for until Wednesday. That’s crazy.

    -Their turnaround just seems to be slower by nature. With Netflix, I ALWAYS had a 2 day turnaround. With Blockbuster, it’s inconsistent, the movies are processed through their center later in the day than Netflix, whether or not they mail out a replacement that day or the next seems to be on their whim, and their movies sometimes show up the next day, but sometimes 2 days later, or longer. Netflix is farther away from me, but the movies ALWAYS arrive the next day after they ship them to me, or after I send them back.

    -When a movie doesn’t arrive as scheduled with Netflix (which hardly ever happens), they are quick to send a replacement. They don’t care if you end up with 2 copies; you just send them both back. With Blockbuster, not only do you have to wait freaking 3 days to let them know the movie didn’t arrive, but you have to wait 3 days after the day they expected you to receive it, which is *2 DAYS* after they ship it. So even though it should be here on Wednesday, they are giving it until Thursday. If it hasn’t arrived by Thursday, you have to wait 3 days, but that is Sunday, so they don’t send a replacement until Monday, and you won’t get it until at least Tuesday – nearly a whole week later than you should have. With Netflix, you would have already received, watched, and returned the replacement in that amount of time. When the very first shipment they sent me of 3 dvds only yielded 2 dvds in my mailbox, I tried to file a report. It wouldn’t let me. I waited until the next day, and when it didn’t arrive, I tried to file a report. It wouldn’t let me, so I called and manually talked to someone. I was told to wait 3 more days. I said no, that I live only an hour from their processing center, that it should’ve been there the day before, and it absolutely should be there that day. I really wanted that movie first, and asked them again to please send a replacement. They agreed to send me a replacement as a courtesy, but then they didn’t. When it still hadn’t arrived the next week, I called and asked again. They agreed to send a replacement and they finally did. It was a good week after I initially ordered it before I received it.

    -The return sleeves for Blockbuster are specific to the title, whereas with Netflix you can return any movie in any sleeve, or even two movies in one sleeve. So you don’t have to worry about keeping track of the return sleeve, and if you lose one, you can send two movies back in one envelope. That is so much more convenient than making sure to keep the title-specific return envelope with the movie at all times. I’m not that organized.

    -And this is a really small thing (And I’ll grant that it probably applies to both Netflix and Blockbuster, but I never really noticed it much with Netflix because a)I love my Netflix and want to keep it, so I have several hundred titles in my queue, and therefore never get harassed about it, and also b)Because it wasn’t something Netflix did to me just minutes after opening my account, like Blockbuster did) but it is highly irritating:
    EVERY time, including the very first day I opened the account, and had only had it for a few minutes, when I call Blockbuster, the conversation ends with the sales rep chastising me for not having enough movies in my queue. I have deliberately only maintained a certain number of titles in my Blockbuster account, because I’m only using it on a trial basis, but if this is information they feel they must impart to you every time, why not just include it in the message you listen to when you’re on hold waiting to talk to a rep? Then you know it’s a message for everyone, not specific to you, and it doesn’t waste your time because you hear it while you wait. But when I’m ready to hang up, and then I get to sit there and listen to them tell me I need to have more movies in my queue so my service is not interrupted, it annoys me. If they are really concerned about whether or not my service is interrupted, they should be open on Saturday, and process movies faster.

    -I have no idea what this is about, but when I tried to go in and change my Blockbuster plan to not include the unlimited store exchange (even though I plan to cancel on the last day of the 4 week plan. Just in case something goes wrong, and they end up charging me anyway, I don’t want to be charged $34.99 when nearly half of that is something I don’t even use.) it wouldn’t let me change it because it kept saying they were unable to process my credit card on file. WTH? First of all, what does processing my credit card have to do with changing my plan? I’m not paying to change it. And secondly, why would they have trouble processing my credit card? The card is valid, and the same card I use for every other online purchase. I even transferred a few bucks into it just in case they were doing that $1.00 feeler to make sure the account was real. But that didn’t help. So now I have to call and talk to someone, which I don’t want to do, because then I get to listen to them chastising me for only having 4 movies in my queue right now…

    The things you would think would be better about Blockbuster:
    -They have videos sometimes sooner than Netflix. Big deal. I can wait.
    -They have B&M locations you can trade your videos in. I like this in theory (except for me personally, the reason I started using Netflix over Redbox in the first place was because I live so far from town), but you can’t return in the mail the videos you get from the store. So if you’re making a trip into town, and instead of dropping your returns in the mail, you take them into the store to get new ones, you then have to bring them back to the store again for exchanges. Which defeats the whole purpose of doing this thing by mail in the first place. and if you want to go back to mail (which stops when you start using the store), you have to go back to the store with your videos, drop them off, not check out new ones, and then wait a few days for your replacements to arrive in the mail. I signed up for a free 4 week plan, and it was for the unlimited store exchange plan, which they otherwise charge nearly double for than they do their regular 3 dvds out at a time plan. I am here to say (IMO) it’s barely worth anything, let alone twice as much as their mail plan.

    I am grateful I got 4 free weeks of movie rentals. That rocks no matter what, and I’m not complaining; I am just saying what I don’t like about it, and why I will not stay after the trial is over. I love and will remain loyal to Netflix because it’s a better service at a better price. Period.

  10. Russ says:

    Netflix and Blockbuster are both good, in my opinion. They both have there good points and bad points.
    My interest is in streaming. I have a Bluray player with this capability. What irritates me is the indifference they show to those of us with a home theater system. They have no thoughts of adding the ability to stream true HD (1080p). Netflix, I understand has begun some HD – but not true Bluray. If you have ever seen AND heard a Bluray movie played on a GOOD home theater system, well it defies words! Racket mentions Amazon and Google – that should be interesting. I have heard that Google has launched something called Google TV??
    Is anyone familiar with HULU or Pandora?

  11. Josh says:

    I’ve had Netflix for about a year now. I was very happy with them and the process each time I got a movie, watched it and returned it. It was great while it lasted.

    If you ever have to talk to customer service, they sound like robots. They always tell you the same thing. I was told to stagger my DVD returns so I can “have more chances at getting this dvd I wanted.” I was told that I am doing everything correctly. I was told they don’t have any control over moving me up in the queue. I mention this because each person said the same thing like reading from a script.

    I am looking for Modern Family Disc 1. I was able to get the other 3 discs but I have been waiting since the disc released on Netflix. Now I have a DVR full of Season 2 and 3 other discs I am not wanting to watch yet till I get the first disc.

    After numerous calls, I admit I was frustrated and wanted to look at other options. Then I saw a blockbuster ad. I went to their website to find out they offered somewhat of the same as Netflix. I just signed up for the 2 week trial and I am very curious to find out how this all works out. What appeals to me is the fact you can get game rentals through the mail. I also have access to the movies quicker than Netflix.

    I was never the streaming movies person. I did sign up for Netflix because they offered the option through the Wii. However, the quality was not to my liking and I never streamed a movie from the Wii. I never watched one online either. I might have if I were still single but she won’t watch the computer screen for a movie.

    To me, blockbuster stands out in the lime light. The fact I can go to a store location and swap out a disc is a neat concept for me because as I was looking the queue was a long wait time for a single movie but my nearest store had copies that were available. I don’t mind driving to go pick up a movie I am really interested in.

    Netflix also just increased their rates to match Blockbuster. Netflix holds over the fact that they have streaming videos. Since that doesn’t apply to us, what good does that do me? I am able to get game rentals at the same rate of Netflix. I’m sold.

    We’ll see what happens. I put Netflix on hold. I might just end up canceling them if Blockbuster works out better.

  12. Justin says:

    I have tried them all people….blockbuster is the way to go! The selection at redbox sucks, they are the last to get the new releases and when they do get them in they have a “very” limited selection. Netflix is okay, but why would I pay extra for blu-ray when blockbuster rents them for free. Also, blockbuster is the only one with a store…..no waiting for movies to arrive! Yes, the old blockbuster was terrible, but with the new online total access you can’t go wrong.

  13. Marc says:

    For us, there’s no benefit of going with Blockbuster. If we want to watch a new release we go to RedBox (a block away) and pay $1, not $3.99. We love the options of videos that can be watched free on Netflix. Lately we’ve watched a lot of TV series (Arrested Development, Roswell, The Office). If the better half and I don’t agree on a movie choice we can actually stream two movies at a time on Netflix. Netflix is cheaper, and we don’t watch enough movies to make the two-day delay (one day to the warehouse, one day back) in receiving a new DVD a problem. For those of you that need to watch a new release everyday I can see the benefit of Blockbuster. Blockbuster also offers games, which I’m surprised Netflix hasn’t tried. There must not be any money in renting games.

  14. Racket says:

    I think most people feel that they are getting great value out of Netflix. I don’t have cable, my family streams every day on either the Roku or the X-box. I also get movies in the mail each week. I have had the service since 1999, when I was charged a late fee on a movie at blockbuster because their computers were down and they could not get the films checked in. Netflix has gotten better over the years for the same amount of money. People look around when they feel they are not getting their moneys worth. Netflix is one of the very few monthly bills I happily pay each month because I am getting excellent value. Blockbuster is done, goodbye you sucked in so many ways, now the competition for Netflix is going to be Amazon and Google.

  15. ivan says:

    I have tried both in the last month with 3 dvds at a time option, and Netflix takes about two days so they receive my movie and 2 days so I receive my movie which I did not enjoy since, I would get around 3 DVDs a week. Yes movies on demand is a good thing but still limited library but good. On blockbuster I returned my blurays at the store since they don’t have an extra cost for blurays, the same day I received them “I watched them the same day” and got my next other blurays in 2 days. very fast watched a total of 6 movies that week blockbuster also gave me the advantage of 5 exchanges in store per month which I found very useful on a Friday night since shipping movies on a weekend is not a good idea including new releases and video games! Not month old releases. Overall netflix was the one with the idea and blockbuster has made it better by adding blurays and video games “no extra fee” and faster processing if you have a blockbuster store around you. ppl try blockbuster and you will surely enjoy and feel like you gotten you moneys worth.

  16. Israel M. says:

    what are you talking about? you work for them or something? Netflix only delays titles cause thats all the studios will give them. they need to make their $ on the DVDs.

  17. John says:

    Your all morons! Blockbuster will be the only store/mail order service releasing Warner, Sony, and other new releases first. Netflix thought it was a good Idea to delay them a month. F^%&ing stupid. Not only that they don’t charge extra for Blu-rays. They just started releasing Video games into the mix at no additional cost. Netflix is annoying. I have both and much more prefer watching my Warner Brother movies and Fox movies without having to wait a month. Come on people pull your heads from your ASS!

  18. UdongFM says:

    BDOG- I completely agree, Blockbuster missed the boat on this one. They got complacent, thinking no one could disrupt their leading position in movie rentals. They stopped paying attention to their customers and unfortunately let Netflix (and Redbox) sneak under their wings. By the time they figured it out, it was too late. They have unsuccessfully tried to scramble to compete by restructuring, adding kiosks, on-demand and mail-order rentals , however, they have fumbled all the way; any “changes” they made in hopes of a Hail Mary recovery are likely going to be in vain.
    Wussel- I agree with you regarding the price advantage BBI has over cable on demand services. This does make Blockbuster’s service slightly more attractive than Comcast’s and others’. However, this is evidence again of how BBI doesn’t take the time to truly understand their customer. If I were to look at my friends and my family, I would guess that on average, we order 3 to 4 videos on Demand per year. We only use OnDemand for convenience sake and treat it as a luxury, rather than our main form of movie rentals. Most movies are rented via Netflix or Redbox. At most, Blockbuster stands to make $16/year from our households based on ONDemand. ( I understand that this may not accurately describe the general public- but I would guess I’m still in the ballpark). This is assuming that they win the competition battle over their well-established counterparts including cable companies and Amazon.com.

    Blockbuster is treading on thin ice. Right now, the only advantage they have is that with the suppliers and the ability to get good/quality movies earlier than Netflix/Redbox. This is a good advantage, but believe me, it’s not good enough for them to continue with business as usual. WHo’s to say that this will be the case forever? They need to get with the program and offer unlimited streaming & rentals as Netflix has. I’m sure people would be more than willing to pay a (reasonable) premium for this service -I gladly would. What they cannot do is keep stringing people on for the pay-per-view type model. The industry has changed and they need to keep up with the pace if they expect to be relevant.

  19. wussel says:

    Netflix allows streaming at no extra cost for old movies and with a low resolution. The 3.99$ at Blockbuster are for new releases in high resolution. Compare that to comcast: you pay 4.99$ per movie for 24hours.

  20. bigdog says:

    BLOCKBUSTER DROPPED THE BALL….. BLOCKBUSTER IS GOING THE WAY OF MOM AND POP HARDWARE STORES. THEY THINK PEOPLE WILL BE LOYAL AND GO ALONG WITH THE PROGRAM …GUESS WHAT ..DUHHHH THAT DOES NOT WORK ANYMORE. NETFLIX GOT IT RIGHT NETFLIX GOT IT RIGHT. THEY UNDERSTAND WHAT PEOPLE WANT AND HOW TO GET IT TO THEM. BLOCKBUSTER CAN FOLLOW NETFLIX’S MODEL AND CHANGE ..BUT I THINK IT’S TOO LATE NOW. SO LONG BLOCKBUSTER YOU ARE ALMOST DONE KINDA LIKE THE WAY CIRCUIT CITY WENT DOWN IN FLAMES..EMMMMM IF I REMEMBER SOMEONE WAS THINKING OF BUYING THAT CHAIN SOME YEARS AGO..WHO WAS IT LET ME THINK…OHHHHHH YEA BLOCKBUSTER….FIGURES..SOMEONE MAKING THE CALLS THERE HAS DROPPED THE BALL…TURN AROUND QUICK BEFORE NETFLIX BUYS YOU GUYS..HAHAHHAHA NOW THAT WOULD BE FUNNY

  21. jc says:

    good comments. the fact that Netflix streams unlimited titles was mentioned in the article – but really should have been emphasized: “Blockbuster’s pay-per-title version isn’t nearly as competitive as Netflix’s unlimited streaming at no extra charge”

    To your #2 point, if the 24 hour expiration is for real then clearly blockbuster has no idea what they are doing.

  22. Kevin says:

    It seems to me that this article missed three important reasons why Netflix is beating Blockbuster, and all of them relate to playing movies on your computer.

    1. Blockbuster charges between $3 and $4 per movie download, whereas at Netflix you can watch as many films online as you want, at no extra charge.

    2. Blockbuster has a 24 hour expiration timer on downloaded films, so if you don’t finish watching it within that period, you have to pay for the film again. With Netflix, there is no time restriction whatsoever.

    3. With Netflix, videos are not actually downloaded to the pc, but are streamed. This means you can stop watching the film on one computer, login on another computer, and start watching the film where you left off. This is a great advantage over Blockbuster OnDemand, where the film is downloaded to one computer, leaving you stuck watching it on that one computer.

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