When my friend wanted to start getting movies from a rental service, after Hollywood Video closed, I gave him the hard sell on Netflix : recommendations, a huge selection, you don’t have to leave home.
At that time Blockbuster was coming out with its enhanced online service that I thought would give Netflix a run for its money.
He picked Blockbuster for the ability to drop into the store to get a video impulsively. He also said he didn’t know at any time what he’d be in the mood for so being able to go to a store worked better.
The system was pretty confusing with rules about what you could have out from a store, which was different from what you got by mail, as well as a coupon system thrown into the mix. (Just see the Help for an idea of how much there is to “learn” about how it works.) Whenever we went to the store, they’d often be out of the featured movies and their selection of older movies was pretty slim.
Then one day I visited, and when we found he had no good movies on hand, he decided to try out Netflix because of their new service where you can instantly watch over 7000 movies on your PC without any downloads etc.
While we found a movie to watch, he complained about the slim selection. The viewing quality was amazing. I’d expected over wireless there would be slowdowns and skips but it nearly equaled DVD quality.
But for $8.99 / month for unlimited 1 at a time rentals and unlimited online movie watching – who can complain? (One movie at the theater is at least $10 these days.)
Now days later he’s canceled Blockbuster and raves about the instant movie watching. Although he says he may switch back if Blockbuster improves it’s process and selection. Or if Netflix buys the Blockbuster locations 😉
Winner: Netflix! Their technology investments have paid off big time.
Is being able to pick up movies from a store important to you?