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Blockbuster about to copy (test) Netflix format.... (1 Viewer)

Alf S

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Alfer
Read in todays local newspaper's business section that Blockbuster announced that they will test, in one undisclosed city, a "new" rental plan that offers renters the chance to keep,for example,up to 3 DVD rentals for as long as they like for a set monthly fee. There will also be different price plans as well.

They said that they believe customers are looking for this option.

Sound at all familiar?? Netlixish perhaps??

Alfer
 

Bruce Hedtke

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Well, it sounds exactly like Netflix. The only difference is is the waiting period. Netflix has the drawback of having to depend on mailing the movies back and forth and therefore, you do lose alot of days to waiting. Blockbuster, on the other hand, you could easily watch 30 films in 30 days and still pay the flat rate (don't know what it might be but $15 sounds reasonable). If BB or Hollywood would option this, I would be all over it.
Bruce
 

Jeremy Little

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They'll still have a problem with selection unless their buyers get their heads out of their behinds.
That is unless you want to keep the P&S Cats and Dogs for as long as you want;)
 

Jacob_St

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Sounds like a good idea but the only problem is the BB or Hollywood store will never have near the selection Netflix has.
 

Rob Tomlin

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They'll still have a problem with selection unless their buyers get their heads out of their behinds.
Exactly! I have a Blockbuster that just went in down the street from my home. It would be a piece of cake to pick up and drop off movies. But the selection needs to be improved greatly before I would consider giving up Netflix. Their selection of Classic movies is particularly poor.
 

Adam_WM

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The only thing that causes me concern would be that Blockbuster would have do potentially double or triple their inventory. Let's just say John Smith checks out Moulin Rouge and decides to keep it for 30 days. What the hell do I do then?
 

Jeremy-P

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If blockbuster does this permanently, they should implement a system of delivering stock back and forth between stores to balance inventory like libraries do.
 

Adam_WM

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Here's something that is extra retarded...

from yahoo:

DALLAS (AP) - Blockbuster Inc. officials say they believe that more people would rent movies if they didn't have to return the tapes and DVDs a couple days later.

The chain plans to test that theory this summer by letting some customers pay a subscription fee and keep a handful of movies as long as they want without paying late fees.

The Dallas-based entertainment giant has profited by devoting more shelf space in its stores to DVDs. Now it wants to head off competition from pay-per-view on cable and mail-order rentals from companies such as Netflix Inc. that offer more convenience.

Under an approach to be tested in one city this summer, customers would pay a monthly fee ranging from $19.99 to $29.99 to cover unlimited rentals for that month. For the smaller fee, they could get two movies at a time, for the larger fee they could rent three or four titles together.

Blockbuster also will test a variant in which customers would pay a yearly fee of perhaps $49.99 to $59.99 and get to keep up to three movies as long as they want. They would still pay a rental fee, typically $3.99, when they check out each movie.

Company officials announced the trials during a conference call with analysts Wednesday. They declined to identify the two test cities — a spokeswoman said they didn't want to tip off competing cable systems.

Chairman and chief executive John Antioco said the subscription service could be Blockbuster's form of video-on-demand, a tantalizing prospect that hasn't yet come into widespread use.

Antioco said customers love browsing video stores, "but one of the things they've not particularly crazy about is extended-viewing fees," Blockbuster's term for late fees.

"What we've done is developed a model that ... we believe provides the consumer an opportunity to take home more movies than they normally do, keep them longer and still spend more money with us than they would otherwise," he said.

Antioco called the hassle of returning tapes and DVDs on time "one of the largest potential obstacles" to rentals.

Customers have filed several lawsuits against Dallas-based Blockbuster over its late-fee policy. In January, a Texas state judge in Beaumont approved a settlement in a class-action lawsuit under which Blockbuster will issue coupons with a face value of about $450 million to millions of customers.

The lack of late fees has helped Netflix, which claims more than 500,000 subscribers. For $19.95 per month, they can rent up to three DVDs at a time and return them in postage-paid envelopes. The Los Gatos, Calif.-based company's service is popular in the Bay Area but not on the East Coast because DVDs take longer to arrive by mail.

"The end game is to do what the customer wants, and the customer doesn't like late fees," said Sarah Gragg, an analyst for Robertson Stephens who follows Blockbuster but doesn't own its stock.

Gragg said the average renter gets fewer than two movies per month, and Blockbuster could profit handily by converting customers to a $19.99 monthly fee, even though it might require more inventory.

"Blockbuster is always looking for additional growth vehicles, and they're extremely successful with most of them," Gragg said.

Peter Mirsky, an analyst with SG Cowen Securities, said the subscription service wouldn't generate huge profits but would help Blockbuster's customer relations as long as subscribers don't hog every copy of hot new movies. He didn't think Antioco would let that happen.

Notice that it says that customers will stay have to pay the $3.99 for every rental. So, basically, I need to accrue $50 in late fees each year to make this worth it. C'mon.
 

Jamie Cole

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One Blockbuster here in Birmingham tried $30 for a movie a day for a month. You still had to return them on time, though.

I am hard-pressed to find 30 DVDs I want to see at Blockbuster.

I may possibly be the world's biggest NetFlix fan. I think it's the best thing since sliced bread, even with some of the inherent problems (turnaround time, etc.).
 

BrianB

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With this proposed plan, you're basically pre-paying your late fees in addition to the rental fee, right?! :)
 

Martin G

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I know that my local blockbuster usually has a deal during the summer where you can rent a dvd a day for 30 days for $20.

Of course the blockbuster near me must be a fluke as they have a very large selection of foriegn movies, anime, and classics on DVD and VHS. They even carry a lot of Criterion DVDs.

They usually (97% of the time) have widescreen only. Even when thier is a P&S release.

I'm glad I don't have to deal with some of the stories I have heard about blockbuster.
 

Qui-Gon John

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With this proposed plan, you're basically pre-paying your late fees in addition to the rental fee, right?!
I think there are TWO differnet things BB is going to try.

One is 19.99/2 or 29.99/3or4 movies out at a time, like Netflix. No you do not pay the rental fee each time.

Two is for 49 or 59 you never get late fees. I think some of you are confusing/combining the 2 plans.
 

Edwin Pereyra

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Its too bad that my local Blockbuster don't have the selection to make this all worthwhile. I'm keeping my Netflix subscription for now as they have recently stocked up on more obscure titles.

~Edwin
 

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