NetFlix & BLOCKBUSTER DVD Movie Rental News
DVD Rental and Movies On-demand News
I have lived without a television pretty much since leaving high school 15 years ago and when not reading a good book or watching the lousy programming on someone else's TV, I watch DVDs on my Apple PowerBook. Living in a rural area (the Catskill Mountains of New York state), there's not such a wide selection of DVDs available for renting in local movie rental stores. So I'm constantly looking for good sources for the latest DVD releases.
Last year I used NetFlix for a few months and the selection was certainly way better than anything I could find locally, but it turns out they penalize you for returning movies too quickly and begin to slow down the sending of your next selections in the movie rental queue. Last weekend I switched to Blockbuster Online® which is not only cheaper, but also provides subscribers with two free in-store movie or game rentals each month. I'm waiting now to see if I notice any of the same beahvior from them as NetFlix was pulling (namely, slowing down how quickly they sent out new selections).
For those who haven't tried a DVD rental service like NetFlix and BlockBuster Online®, here's how it works. You select movies from just about everything that's ever been released on DVD and these selections are placed in your movie queue. You can rearrange the queue items so that movies are sent to you in the order you choose, and both services allow you to have have three DVDs checked out at one time. As soon as you send back a DVD your next selection is sent out to your mailbox. All postage is paid, including return postage (they provide a special postage-paid envelope for you to drop the DVD disc into), there are no "late fees" -- so keep the DVDs as long as you desire, but you won't receive additional DVDs as long as you have three checked out. You can read about the various features and charges on my NetFlix vs BlockBuster comparison page.
There is one complaint which I have about both NetFlix and BlockBuster Online® DVD rental services: so many DVD releases these days include bonus disks, and there's even a few movies (such as Tolstoy's War and Peace) which come on multiple disks, but neither service treats multiple disk sets as a single rental, so if you want the bonus disk, or all disks in a multi-disk movie, you have to get them in your queue and hope that they go out together. This is annoying since the extras/bonuses on Criterion Collection DVDs are usually pretty good.
NetFlix shows 2005 Profit
Tue, Jul. 26, 2005
NEW YORK - Shares of Netflix Inc. rose Tuesday after the online DVD rental company said it expected a 2005 profit instead of a loss as it adds subscribers and contains costs.
McDonald's to Offer DVD Rentals
02:00 AM Jun. 13, 2005 PT
McDonald's is expanding tests for a national DVD rental service in its restaurants, promising to turn the fast-food chain into a do-it-yourself Netflix for road warriors.
NetFlix Takes over Walmart DVD Rental Service
May 19, 2005: 1:14 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Netflix Inc., the online DVD rental company, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Thursday they have struck a deal to co-promote DVD sales and rentals, with Wal-Mart shutting down its online rental service to concentrate on DVD sales.
Amazon.com to enter DVD Rental Business
October 14, 2004, 5:30 PM PDT
News of Amazon's intentions were disclosed Thursday afternoon by Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings during the company's earnings call. Netflix said it would cut prices to ensure future growth in the face of competition from Blockbuster, Wal-Mart Stores and soon Amazon.
BlockBuster Ordered to refund Late Fees
April 04, 2005
(SACRAMENTO) - Attorney General Bill Lockyer today announced that he and the Attorneys General of 46 other states and Washington D.C. have reached agreement with Blockbuster Inc. to settle allegations Blockbuster misled consumers in advertising its "End of Late Fees" or "No Late Fees" program.
More DVD Rental News
Amazon.com Buys DVD-on-Demand Service July 11, 2005 Amazon.com has confirmed the purchase of CustomFlix, a Santa Cruz, Calif.-based company that produces and sells independently produced DVDs. Last year Netflix founder and CEO Reed Hastings confirmed in a conference call that he's heard rumors Amazon.com is looking to get into the DVD movie rental business. CNET
NetFlix and TiVO Partner to Offer Movies on Demand
Sep 30, 2004
Netflix and TiVo announced a partnership to develop a movies-on-demand service as well as efforts to secure content from Hollywood studios.