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Netflix May Already Be Killing Blockbuster? 302

Mattintosh writes "A blogger at C|Net takes a moment to consider the impact Netflix has had on Blockbuster. Some notable highlights include heavy losses ($35 million), job cuts ($45 million worth), and store closings: 'Much like the print media and retail stores refusing to change, Blockbuster has been a victim on an online company finding new and inventive ways of bringing a product to a customer. And due to its size and outdated corporate culture, there really is no salvation for Blockbuster at this point. Try as it might, the future of Blockbuster is bleak, at best. Sure, the company still enjoys revenue that climb into the billions of dollars, but with an ever-increasing net loss and a public refusal to focus on Total Access--the area where Netflix continues to dominate--what is the impetus for us to jump on the Blockbuster bandwagon?'"
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Netflix May Already Be Killing Blockbuster?

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  • by dal20402 ( 895630 ) * <[dal20402] [at] []> on Friday November 02, 2007 @10:55PM (#21220805) Journal

    Meanwhile, the only thing saving Netflix's ass is the anticompetitive nature of the telecom industry in the US, which causes us to have broadband slow enough to make downloading DVD-quality movies too painful... time marches on.

    • by yndrd1984 ( 730475 ) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:40PM (#21221085)
      When I go to Netflix [] I see "Watch movies instantly on your PC". Did I miss something?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by dal20402 ( 895630 ) *

        I prefer my movies to be of reasonable quality. Netflix's selection of DVDs is also much greater than its selection of downloadable movies.

        • Or almost any selection of downloadable movies, actually.
        • For a while I was subscribed to vongo. The video quality was top notch, and the pricing wasn't bad. But the selection was quite limited. I ran through all the movies that I wanted to watch in about 2 months.

          I won't be going back, because they scammed me for a few months of extra service and falsified their records to match up. They ended up accusing me of having my password scammed, even though the downloads were mine from during the time I was still subscribed.

          I suspect that the limitations on netflix are
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by robbiedo ( 553308 )
        You can stream movies to your PC. It is pretty cool. Only works with Windows and Internet Explorer right now, but you basically get 1 free hour of streaming per each dollar of your monthly fee. Spend 18 dollars get 18 hours streamed. Quality is nice on a PC screen.
      • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @01:02AM (#21221523) Journal

        When I go to Netflix I see "Watch movies instantly on your PC". Did I miss something?

        Yes you did... Try actually USING the service. Whatever they're using does a HORRIBLE job with the conversion from DVD.

        Lots of aliasing, like they use some incredibly crappy deinterlacing filter. The video is scaled out to square pixels, even though WMV supports aspects just fine. Anyone who knows one bit about video encoding will force dimensions to multiples of 16, but the videos I've seen aren't even multiples of 4... huge waste of bits. And that, unfortunately, holds true... don't even try watching at any bitrate below the max (some 6000kbps), even with a file size of 2GBs it looks like a 1-CD rip you might find floating around on some P2P network.

        Their inverse telecine filter is crap, if it exists at all. Progressive DVDs (film) are encoded passably, but anime I've seen is HORRIBLE. Take Ninja Scroll, use some braindead deinterlacing filter that blurs the two fields, so you have the old telecine ghosts every 5th frame and it looks like complete crap... then drop one out of every 5 frames (but be sure to keep the horrible blurred frames) to make sure you completely destroy the picture... then you've just started to approximate what the Netflix conversion process does.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday November 03, 2007 @05:55AM (#21222423)
          Your post only lacks one thing:

          Worst online video service ever.
        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by JoeyBlaze ( 803187 )

          That's funny, I was just telling someone how I couldn't tell the difference in regular TV and Netflix's Watch Instantly (on a 42" set)...Granted I wasn't expecting it to be great quality, I am still impressed with the service.

          Apart from a limited selection (~5K titles), and the fact it only wants to run in IE (but has a simple full-screen interface), it is everything I would expect from the company's early approach at on demand streaming video.

          I guess YMMV, but they do include it at no additional cost

    • by garcia ( 6573 ) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:41PM (#21221099)
      I just don't get it. I refuse to go to Blockbuster and I cannot justify Netflix's fees and I really like to watch movies (I consider watching three or four movies a month above average). I go to the local grocery store and up to their DVD kiosk and rent a movie for 24 hours at 1.05 (including tax).

      I drive by the store containing the kiosk (which is directly across the street from Blockbuster and Hollywood) at least several times a day. I'd rather put my money there ($5 for a rental at Blockbuster? Please.) and have slim pickings than go to Blockbuster.

      Can someone please explain to me why you are willing to pay astronomical monthly fees for Netflix on a recurring basis and you might not even get your #1 choices? I just don't understand how the business model survives.
      • by frdmfghtr ( 603968 ) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @12:06AM (#21221235)

        Can someone please explain to me why you are willing to pay astronomical monthly fees for Netflix on a recurring basis and you might not even get your #1 choices? I just don't understand how the business model survives.
        Sure...because for $9/month (astronomical?? I think not), I can get a movie (have always been able to get my #1 picks so far) in my mailbox for an unlimited amount of time, drop it in the mail when I'm done, and four days later have another one in my mailbox. I don't have to stop anywhere, I can browse online, AND if I come across a movie I want to watch and it's available to stream, I can watch it instantly (assuming I have Windows; my Mac is thus far not supported). Nine hours (I think) of streaming per month is included in that $9 monthly fee.

        On top of that, when my monthly fee dropped from $9.99 to $8.99, I had to do nothing; my monthly rate automatically went down.

        Seems pretty fair to me.
        • by swv3752 ( 187722 )
          Wow, my worst case is four days if I return on a Friday. Any other weekday, I get two days.
      • by pragma_x ( 644215 ) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @12:19AM (#21221331) Journal
        I can't speak for everyone else, but personally, I find Netflix fantastic at providing me access to a seemingly bottomless library of old, independent and foreign movies. I tend to have rather esoteric tastes, so paying for a subscription that is almost on-demand for just about anything I could want is well worth it. Basically they have all the stuff that more space-constrained institutions (Kiosks, Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, etc) can't be bothered with . To that end, I've never had to wait for a movie to become available.

        Now on the other hand: if all you want to do is see the major releases and not pay $10 to see it in a theater, then cruising the video kiosk is certainly the way to go.
        • by Bodrius ( 191265 )
          I have to agree. Netflix gives a pretty good deal for rental, but the main benefit is that it is far from 'slim pickings'.

          The mode of rental is very different, though - it just clicks once you build your queue and start getting films.
          It's not about dropping by on a random moment of ennui, to pick up a movie that is hopefully not horrid... it's about setting up your 'movie wish list', and knowing that practically anytime you want you will have a Good Movie (TM) you actually want to watch.

          I haven't been as lu
      • why netflix (Score:4, Informative)

        by Dare nMc ( 468959 ) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @12:29AM (#21221385)

        I go to the local grocery store and up to their DVD kiosk and rent a movie for 24 hours at 1.05

        definitely live in a different area than me. Kiosk at my safeway has under 30 movies, and most are around $3-4. pre netflix I watched 3-4 a month, and had watched every movie I was interested in (that was available) a few years back.

        Netflix has a great site, I have rented 300 movies in the last 2 years, and I have 50 movies in my queue. The site has no problem finding new (to me) movies. No more wondering rental stores, or hanging out at a kiosk daily. monthly I visit, and in seperate tabs, 1 hour max to top off a new list of movies for us. To do anything equivalent at a remote site would require printing the results of the same browsing, and printing the queue, and then hunting for which of them are their.
      • I'm lazy, and Netflix saves me a huge amount of time.

        I like variety. Netflix has almost everything I want, and when they don't, they tend to get it in quickly.

        I consider Netflix to be reasonably cheap. $12 a month for me, and I pay four times that much for internet service and six times that much for electricity. It's just not a significant cost, and it easily pays for itself in convenience and selection.
      • by antdude ( 79039 )
        Those small stores don't always have the movies and some are far. I do try to borrow my friends' and coworkers' DVDs if possible. If not, then rent from Hollywood Video []. However, these days I rarely watch movies. :(
      • Because

        I'd rather put my money there [kiosk] and have slim pickings than go to Blockbuster [Netflix, etc].

        isn't a universal opinion.
      • by iroll ( 717924 )
        I pay $5 a month for Netflix, and often forget I have the movie for a month-and-a-half (would be $20 at blockbuster, at least... and that's the new "cheaper" rate).

        Not only that, but the movies I get from Netflix are not even available at Blockbuster, and they aren't at your friendly neighborhood Torrent site, either.

        Netflix is great because it's a long-tail model business, just like Amazon. Sure they make money on the best sellers, but they really excel at serving up the rarities, and their customer base
    • by Shimmer ( 3036 ) <> on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:45PM (#21221115) Homepage Journal
      I think it's the other way around - dedicated TV cable/fiber to the consumer will lose ground on two fronts at once.

      On the onc hand, TV stations are broadcasting digital signals over the air (wireless!). These look beautiful in HD today and will only get more numerous and stronger, especially when analog signals go away in a few years and interference is no longer an issue.

      For the few non-broadcast TV providers worth watching (e.g. ESPN, HBO), the Internet will become the platform of choice. The need for a special "set-top box" to receive cable signals will be displaced by plain old PC's connected to the Internet.

      Anyone who has both Cable and Internet is basically paying for the same thing twice (especially if you get one of those stupid "triple plays" from the same provider). People will eventually figure out that Cable is a subset of Internet and stop paying separately for it.

      Phone service, on the other hand, may survive as a distinct offering because of its importance in real life. No one has an emergency need for Cable TV, though, so it will fade.

      This is the lesson of the PC revolution, repeated over and over: General purpose PC (with networking) displaces special purpose hardware. This is why Netflix (or its descendants) will be around long after Cable is a memory.
    • Meanwhile, the only thing saving Netflix's ass is the anticompetitive nature of the telecom industry in the US, which causes us to have broadband slow enough to make downloading DVD-quality movies too painful...

      That wouldn't matter with a strong BitTorrent like distribution network. The speeds we have today from cable interest are fast enough for streaming 720p Divx video in almost real time.

      Until commercial interests embrace network efficient distribution, there will always be enough bottlenecks somewher
  • by philmack ( 796529 ) on Friday November 02, 2007 @10:56PM (#21220817)
    Blockbuster lost me (and several of my friends' accounts) to netflix when they recently did away with their in store exchanges unless you opted to pay like 30% more for the exact same service. I have to imagine that a lot of people did the same.
    • I've had Blockbuster Total Access since right before they started the in-store exchanges. Which I love, by the way - I get to watch the movies I can't get in store, and when I want to rent a movie last-minute, all I have to do is take the envelope into the store and get any rental for free. They even give out a coupon every month for a free in-store rental - or a free game rental, which is what I always use it on. But anyway... When Blockbuster started limiting the number of in-store rentals, it was for ne
    • Their hidebound corporate culture prevents the use of common sense. Several years ago, my wife rented a movie from Blockbuster that she promptly lost. Three months later, she found it again, and we returned it. By that time, our fees had run up to nearly $100. Blockbuster wouldn't allow us to rent again until we paid the fee. So we just switched to a local movie rental store. Two or three years later, I found myself again inside Blockbuster, but again, I couldn't rent a movie without paying the years-ol
    • The thing is, even with the reduced store exchanges, it's STILL a better deal than Netflix. So going to Netflix to hurt Blockbuster hurts you AND Blockbuster.

      I'm fine with Netflix but I really don't have that much of an option with Blockbuster, there aren't any that are nearby, I think it's 15 miles.
  • by schnikies79 ( 788746 ) on Friday November 02, 2007 @10:59PM (#21220841)
    It's a subscription service and a brick and mortar blockbuster isn't.

    It would be nice if someone offered a service where I could just request a movie, pay my couple of bucks or whatever and have it mailed. If I didn't want anything that month then I wouldn't have to pay.
    • by pappy97 ( 784268 ) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:04PM (#21220877) offers the service you want, you rent by mail per DVD you actually watch, no subscription. Check it out. They call it "a la carte" renting.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Chysn ( 898420 )
      > It's a subscription service and a brick and mortar blockbuster isn't.

      The response to that is that Blockbuster's rates for new releases are ridiculous. It's been a while since I've used my Blockbuster account, so I might be a few percent off here, but Blockbuster is now charging close to $4.00 (USD) for DVD rentals. So you don't need to watch too many movies per month with Netflix to blow Blockbuster away for value.

      My experience with Netflix is that they're one of those rare businesses that keep excee
      • I rarely watch movies so I guess I'm not the right demographic but I agree 100% of the new release prices. A theater here is only $6.00 for a movie, and renting the dvd is $4.00, screw that.
      • It's been a while since I've used my Blockbuster account, so I might be a few percent off here, but Blockbuster is now charging close to $4.00 (USD) for DVD rentals.

        That cheap, huh? Last time I rented a movie at Blockbuster it was something like $6.50 after tax.
      • by eln ( 21727 )
        Exactly. If I want to rent 3 videos from blockbuster for the weekend, I'm looking at spending the same amount of money I spend for an entire month of my Netflix 3-at-a-time deal. Then, if I'm running late on Monday morning and forget to return the movies, I get nailed for another 20 bucks in late fees. I haven't used my Blockbuster card in more than 2 years, and I have no particular desire to do so again. If I'm desperate to watch a particular (popular) movie right now, I can go to one of the $1 per mov
  • by Verte ( 1053342 ) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:07PM (#21220897)
    Blockbuster is dead!
  • I'm a netflix cusomter - 4 CD's in three queues (child, bride, me). As a perk, they also let you have an hour/usd of streaming content each month. For me, that works out to ~24 hours a month. Great, right? Well, it only works in the States, so any gigs in Canada are right out.

    The chink in the armor is the selection. While they have a massive collection of DVDs, the streaming selection is really poor. I would not pay extra for it as it stands. At home, It looks about the same as a DVD on a high bandwidth connection - here [] for example, is a movie getting piped to a TV via my laptop. Bandwidth in hotels works better than I expected, and it is good enough for watching on a computer. I hear Blockbuster might have better selection... they should embrace the streaming!
  • by llamalad ( 12917 ) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:09PM (#21220917)
    Blockbuster's online offering is far superior to Netflix's.

    Netflix constantly sent me random movies from my queue instead of using anything remotely resembling the order I'd prioritized them in. IIRC, they were everntually sued for that.

    Blockbuster only seems to have tried that twice with me and a single email to their customer care address resolved that and got me an apology along with it.

    I can also drop my total access movies off at the local LackLuster and trade them for free in-store rentals. And they ship my next online rentals the next day.

    Not affiliated, just a happy customer.
    • by cblack ( 4342 )
      Likewise. My wife and I moved from netflix to blockbuster total access several months ago and have been quite happy. One thing that is really nice about the in-store trade (for those that don't know, you can return a movie to a local store in exchange for a free rental at that store) is that if you real feel like a particular movie RIGHT NOW you can go get it. In addition it is sometimes nice to browse new releases that you may not have put in your queue but still would like to see.
    • the gee-wiz factor with the Netflix service left me luke-warm. I'll give them credit for shifting the paradigm, but sometimes you just want to browse movies and pick up something THEN, you know, when you're in the mood for it. The in-store exchange kind of gives you the best of both worlds and I've had nothing but good luck with the queue/delivery. And I don't think *either* have my best interests at heart. Just one that works better for me until digital downloads are a reality (sans goofy protection).
    • I've done Netflix for at least a year now and I've never seen them send me anything that's farther down the list than #2, unless they are sending two discs on the same day, then it's at worst #2 and #3, because #1 might be out.

      I think we may need to recognize that there may be some regional differences in both services. My local Netflix center is very good.
  • Damn (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dedazo ( 737510 ) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:09PM (#21220925) Journal
    I swore to myself that I'd never use Netflix because of the fact that they invented the pop-under along with the assholes at X10. This is bad news. But I still think they're better than NF, even with the 5-exchange limit... namely because Netflix gives me exactly zero in-store exchanges for the same online subscription price.

    Their website sucks (while Netflix's is fantastic), but they still have a larger catalog. I've never had any throttling problems at all. I hope they don't go under. I have something like 600 movies in my queue and no way in hell to pull it out without some nasty screen scraping...

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by torkus ( 1133985 )
      I guess that's the preference it comes down to. Do you like to go to the store and trade your movies or do you like to drop them in the mail and get the next one (or batch) in 2 days?

      I'll stuff 8 DVDs in my mailbox monday and have the next 8 from my queue on wednesday. For me, that's perfect. I'm not sure what you don't find in Netflix's catalog, but i've found everything i've gone looking for. THey even have obscure things like random yoga videos, foreign and B movies...

  • NO WAI! (Score:3, Informative)

    by sqrt(2) ( 786011 ) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:12PM (#21220939) Journal
    Who could have seen that coming. Netflix is even more convenient (for me) than downloading movies illegally, there's just no way a dinosaur like Blockbuster could keep up. By not actually having a physical location, Netflix can have a MUCH wider selection of titles too, and when your only limit is how many movies you can have out at one time you can watch a lot more content and take chances on things you might not have looked at otherwise. This is why I have no sympathy for the music industry when they say they can't compete with illegal downloads. Netflix does it (and does very well), by offering a better service at a reasonable price.
  • Amazingly... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by whystopnow ( 1167741 ) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:12PM (#21220941)
    ...Netflix lowered monthly subscriptions a month or so ago. Sent me a letter saying "we're dropping your monthly subscription cost by a dollar and adding streaming movies."

    First time in my life a subscription service has gotten cheaper.

    • Yeah, I love Netflix....

      I even bought stock. Why? Because, I once exclaimed if I owned a $1,000 of Netflix stock and were they to go belly up (back when media was saying doomed to die) that I'd actually be more bummed about losing the service than the cash.

      Of note, I've dropped cable/sat and pretty much feast on Netflix+iTunes. Netflix's online offerings are more limited but quality is usually much better than iTunes downloads; and quicker start times. iTunes gives me more current TV shows. Netflix gives
    • by nuzak ( 959558 )
      > Netflix lowered monthly subscriptions a month or so ago

      Blockbuster followed up and did exactly the same. Blockbuster's queue is far better than Netflix's too -- you get the movies in the order you queued them, almost no exceptions.

      Their system for series dvds is kind of buggy though -- I got disc 2 of The Prisoner full series before disc 1, returned it, and I've never seen another one from it since, it shows as unavailable in my queue. Another couple series items had similar problems -- once it gave
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:16PM (#21220969)

    Netflix May Already Be Killing Blockbuster?

    What rock have editors/bloggers been living under? This may have been news say...4 years ago. Blockbuster launched a service like Netflix in 2004-ish (that's 3 years ago) and since then, well since then who cares, because pretty much everyone I know switched over to, um, digital downloads.

    Seriously, a Netflix PR blog-vert in 2007?
  • by Morky ( 577776 ) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:21PM (#21220997)
    My last visit to Blockbuster was about five years ago when I returned a DVD a week late and they charged me significantly more than if I had simply rented the video for that period.
    • by canajin56 ( 660655 ) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:33PM (#21221051)
      The best part was when they doubled their late fees, and advertised it as "NO LATE FEES" then in microscopic print "because we doubled the late fees and renamed them restocking fees"
      • Guess it depends where you live. Here they charge you the full (I mean buying a new one at Borders price - $25 to $35) to buy the movie if it's 7 days late. On the upside you get to keep it...
      • by wuputah ( 1068216 )
        Here is an example timeline of the "No late fees" feature:

        * You rent a movie January 1.
        * It is due January 8th.
        * If you don't return it by January 15th, they assume you are keeping it forever. You get charged the price of the movie.
        * If you return it before February 15th, the price of the movie is refunded and you are charged a $1.95 restocking fee.

        They make this completely clear when their automated system calls you about your movie being overdue.

        I still don't think this lives up to "no late fees," but as
        • I got hit with the 'no late fee' thing a few years ago. I haven't been back. I rented a movie and returned it a DAY late. They misplaced the movie. A week or so later, they called me, telling me that the movie was late. I told them that I had already returned it. They told me they'd correct the issue. A month or so later, I received a letter from their collections department threatening me because I didn't pay the price of the movie. (They had my card on file, why didn't they just charge that?).

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by fermion ( 181285 )
      Pundits like to indentify a single source, but is it seldom so simple. Single sources make for good case studies, which make for good sales, but this is not reality. Reality is that at blockbuster you can get the latest movie on the way home, but perhaps you don't have time to return it for a week. Reality is that I can own most most movies for around $15-$20 from any store, or have then delivered for less in a couple days. The reality is that blockbuster did it's best to kill the rental business by kil
  • The Hollywood Video near us just closed up. Brick-and-mortar retail video rental is a dead letter.
  • if they're monthly subscriptions were for in-store exchanges. Movie renting for me is a spontaneous thing. I rent movies the day I want to see it. I don't want to wait a couple days for a movie, there simply isn't anything i want to see that badly.

    Blockbuster is ignoring it's strongest asset. The brick and morter is the best thing they have going for them, and they refuse to capitalize on it.
  • Other alternatives: (Score:3, Informative)

    by Chabil Ha' ( 875116 ) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:34PM (#21221057)

    I rent my videos from []. I don't rent enough movies to really justify spending on a Netflix subscription and the idea of depending $4.50 on a DVD rental is absolutely preposterous. For $1 + tax I get to watch a DVD--a just price for someone who watches movies as infrequently as I do.

    ...and no, it doesn't run Linux...but it could.

  • by JimboFBX ( 1097277 ) on Friday November 02, 2007 @11:48PM (#21221141)
    Back in Pullman, WA, I found blockbuster online really helpful. Everything about it was great, and the fact that NetFlix told me Star Trek V (for RiffTrax) was "soon available" and then a week passed without ever sending it didn't help NetFlix's case either. Then I moved to a larger city where all of the blockbusters were franchise within a 100 miles. Their "two night rental" was actually a "next day rental", they had late fees, they stopped accepting blockbuster online's coupons for free game rentals (7.50 to rent a game...), when I did have a free rental coupon, they wouldn't allow me to write down the code and simply present that to them- I had to print it out as well, and finally their selection was worse. When I asked why they were so crappy, they answered "Sorry, you probably were renting from a corporate blockbuster- and all the ones around here are franchise". I quickly canceled my blockbuster online subscription, mostly because I could no longer get a free game rental and because Red Box ($1/night) has come around and proven to both be superior to Blockbuster and Netflix when your primary interest is new releases.

    Sadly, within two weeks of showing up, Red Box put the local Movie Gallery out of business, which had been my blockbuster replacement for games. Now I'm not sure where to rent games anymore.
  • Salvation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by zogger ( 617870 )
    If the studios/distributors would just get ((*^&^ing real on the cost of plastic disks, they could save blockbuster, make more money, slow down piracy. Switch from elaborately packaged boxed discs,and "renting", go to a burn on demand kiosk mode for cheap. For the same loot, customer gets "rent" and "bring back" or "take home and keep". Which would most people choose, either going to the store or doing it through the mail? Blockbuster has the locations already, they could SELL burnt on demand disks slip
  • I love how "Try as it might, the future of Blockbuster is bleak, at best" and "Sure, the company still enjoys revenue that climb into the billions of dollars" are used in the same sentence. I couldn't define contradiction better if I tried.

    I think someone's getting a little carried away. Blockbuster are huge, and they're not just in the US. Calm down and sleep on it.
    • by wuputah ( 1068216 ) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @12:13AM (#21221289) Homepage
      Revenue is not profit, and if your market is a brick and mortar store, there is a limit to how much you can cut costs - you have to stock the store, pay employees, etc etc. Closing stores means losing that market, but I suppose they could simply close all stores operating at a loss... I wonder how many stores they would have left.
  • Blockbuster is just indicative of things to come. Netflix may be riding high now, but as Hollywood slowly embraces digital distribution, its party will eventually end. But for the digital distribution to really take hold, several issues must first be resolved: DRM, broadband access, widely-used media centers, digital distribution services, etc. Of these, broadband availability and speed is the biggest obstacle, especially in the U.S.

    The seeds are planted; now they must converge to the point of making physic
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Xuranova ( 160813 )
      I like to think there are enough people out there like myself who detest steam. Why do I need to be connected to the internet to play a single player game? Why am I going to pay full price to dl a game? If I'm paying full price I want a disc, manual(preferably color) and some fancy box art.

      Do we need Gamestop? Nah. But I'm not paying for digital only distribution. Give me my pretty box and disc please :)
  • "Barack Obama"

    And he's right...

    Blockbuster would actually be better off re-discovering itself. In fact, it might do better to sell off it's online service to Netflix and do a partnership where Netflix members could swap their discs. And buy themselves a bit more time.

    But I've said for a while brick and mortar DVD rentals is dying. In fact, Netflix's model only has another 5-15 yrs before it goes the same. But Netflix is actively engaged in developing the means for TV on demand in order to keep it's future
    • Sorry, it was a copy/paste error. I began this post as a response to the blog comments (the guy asking who the next VP in 2008) was going to be.

      Forgot to remove it...

      "Ron Paul" would be better than Obama though.
  • I have never used Blockbuster because they require a credit card. I can use a debt card anywhere else but there. Add in lack of an adult section and the amount of floor space dedicated to non-movies (games mostly) and they just don't offer enough non-major releases that would get me to spend money there.
  • ... they sent me threatening letters stating they'd take me to court over $20 in late fees.

    I called their bluff and said fine take me to court over $20.

    They didn't get that money, and they won't ever be seeing anymore from me. the SMART business move would be to send me a buy one get one free voucher, stating as a sign of good will we are wiping your late fee's and would love to have your business back. THAT would have probably seen me giving them repeat business. Now they get nothing.

    • by krray ( 605395 )
      Blockbuster lost me when I went to rent another movie (many many years ago) and I was returning a very late movie at the same time. The thing that got me the most was that the movie wasn't all that good and I didn't even finish watching it -- I was just busy with life / work and forgot about it (my bad).

      I ended up at the counter with the manager and the late fee being requested far exceeded the retail cost of the movie (which was available -- it wasn't some new release). I offered to buy it which was refuse
    • they sent me threatening letters stating they'd take me to court over $20 in late fees.
      I called their bluff and said fine take me to court over $20.

      They didn't get that money, and they won't ever be seeing anymore from me. the SMART business move would be to send me a buy one get one free voucher, stating as a sign of good will we are wiping your late fee's and would love to have your business back.

      You want to be _rewarded_ for failing to keep your end of the bargain/contract up? I mean, there is

  • by Anonymous Coward
    About a year ago we decided to give the online rental thing a try. I signed us up for Blockbuster and Netflix because they both offered a free month to try the service. Twice the movies and I knew I'd be cancelling one, so that was nice.

    Anyway, Blockbuster had the edge in the "return to the local store" policy, but of the dozen or so movies we put in our queue, about half were unavailable through Blockbuster. All were available through Netflix. So I decided we would, for the time being, stick with Netfl
  • The way I see it (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jhylkema ( 545853 ) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @01:19AM (#21221603)
    Every time I go into Blockbuster, all I see are a couple hundred copies of the latest straight-to-video abortion. No wonder they're going bankrupt.
  • by Compuser ( 14899 ) on Saturday November 03, 2007 @01:48AM (#21221709)
    Whoever is the first to have a foreign film section which is
    a. In native language
    b. As complete as Hollywood section
    will get my dollars. There is cinema everywhere - Korea, China, Brazil,
    Russia - everywhere; but try finding these movies at Netflix. There will
    be a few but for instance some of my favorite 1970's French movies are
    not there. Many good movies are indies or equivalent - short run, never
    been in wide release type. Again, hard to find. Some movies were dubbed
    into other languages. Are these dubbed versions avaliable along with originals?
    I speak Russian. Can I find Eisenstein movies on netflix? In Russian?
    These guys do not want my dollars so they don't get them.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      If the foreign movies you talk about were available in Region 1 DVDs, meaning they would play on DVD players in the US, then Netflix would have them. But many foreign movies, French movies especially, have never been released in the US and haven't even been subtitled so they could be released. Don't blame Netflix. Unless you have a region-free DVD player most foreign DVDs won't be playable here and it would be a nightmare for Netflix to carry them and then try to explain to people why they wouldn't play.

      • by Compuser ( 14899 )
        I am sure there something like Netflix in France.
        All they'd have to do is redirect me to those servers
        for downloading the movie I want.
        I have not tried p2p but I doubt it is well-organized,
        annotated, and has informative user reviews. I want a
        polished service and nothing less will do. I am just
        fine not watching movies except in theaters. But if
        I could get what I wanted just when I wanted in the
        format I wanted then I'd pay a subscription fee for
        those rare "spur of the moment" downloads.
  • I was probably one of the few people that enthusiastically supported Blockbuster's "no late fee" policy. "You can keep a movie for a month and only pay $1.25 restocking fee? Awesome!" And it was awesome, especially for video games, until about a month after they instituted the change and it was damn near impossible to find any new release movie or game. I stopped going to BB after my fourth or fifth attempt to rent the same new release and just hit Rogers Video, a well known Canadian chain, and found the mo
  • by beavmetal ( 250116 ) <beavmetal&hotmail,com> on Saturday November 03, 2007 @03:15AM (#21222007) Homepage
    1st.) The highest level tier for both services is basically the same price, However
    2nd.) The blockbuster 500 yards from my apartment, will let me exchange my mail order movies for free ones
    3rd.) as a result the best value for my dollar come from blockbuster.

    Assuming I can get 3 new movies every 4 days via mail from either service I get 21 (rounding down) movies a month. However, with blockbuster, I get 21 more from the store. 42 movies block buster (approx $0.595 per movie), 21 movies netflix ($1.19/movie).

    It's obvious which service will quickly fill up your disk drive while giving you an excellent value.

"How many teamsters does it take to screw in a light bulb?" "FIFTEEN!! YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?"