Netflix is the largest online DVD rental service which offers flat-rate dvd rentals to customers by mail in the US. Blockbuster is one of the largest chain stores of DVD and video games rental in the world. It is now also offering flat-rate dvd rentals to customers by mail with the option of returning the movie to any of the blockbuster store and renting a new one. Netflix offers movies with no late-fees and unlimited rental of movies per month but a maximum of 3 at a time. Blockbuster too, offers the same for their online customers with the additional option of having 5 in-store exchanges. Netflix has decided to offer PC viewing to their collection of movies to counter Blockbuster’s in-store exchanges.
Seems like a toughie to choose between the two, isn’t it??
Recently, Netflix reported their 3rd quarter results which were better than expected revenue and earnings. This is due to increase in subscribers (mostly stealing away Blockbuster customers) by offering price-cuts to their monthly rental packages. Price Cuts were good for customers but how did that turn out to better revenues for Netflix? Other than increasing their subscriber count, it can also be attributed to the fact that fewer subscribers discontinued their service.
But to me, I believe Blockbuster offers better services to the customer than Netflix. In-store exchanges is far superior service than watching a movie on a PC / Laptop. Also, unlike Netflix which drops you down the movie rental queue for being a heavy renter (which happens to be the main reason why subscribers leave their service incl. yours truly), Blockbuster in-store exchanges can counter heavy renting. It also provides you with an option to rent video-games and buy used dvds from the store.
The one thing that would make Blockbuster climb up the charts is by increasing their online movie collection to include international movie titles which is something that Netflix did a couple of years ago. This would help them increase their customer base to non-US citizens. There should also be reward points for subscribers to enroll which could guarantee them a free-rental of a video-game or movies from in-store which doesn’t fall under the rental plan.
Final Result – Blockbuster is better in the long run.