"The added convenience and no late fees Netflix offers may give Blockbuster a run for its money. (However) the Dallas-based chain, with more than 69 stores in Houston alone, is adopting less-stringent late fees and creating a plan similar to that of Netflix... Blockbuster spokesman Blake Lugash said...Blockbuster is adopting longer rental periods for older movies: Instead of keeping rentals for five days, they can be kept for seven.
The chain will also try a monthly plan, similar to that of Netflix. For about $20 a month, a customer can rent an unlimited number of DVDs, keeping out two at a time.
There will be no due dates and no late fees.
The plan will be tested on Blockbuster customers this summer in a few stores across the country.
Having to think about movies days in advance is inconvenient, Lugash said. Eighty percent of movies rented are watched the same day, and that gives Blockbuster an advantage, he said.
Blockbuster makes most of its money through VHS rentals. Those tapes make up the majority of its inventory.
Lugash said Netflix won't have an immediate impact on Blockbuster..."For us to see companies forget about VHS, we'd have to get a household penetration of DVD players of 60 to 70 percent," Lugash said. Right now, 30 percent of homes have them.
1. Still have to go to store 2. Still have to deal with limited selection 3. Haven't rented a VHS is over 3 years (just DVDs)
This would be great if that had great selection - could watch 2 movies every day essentially - potential of 60 movies a month. Cost/movie $20/60 = $0.33. Compared to their $5 rental + late fees. Why would BBI do this. Obviously you will go to the store a lot and be greatly disappointed with their selection. Or go seldom and rent much fewer dvds.
I think BBI will kill NFLX with this $20/mo plan if they roll it out nation-wide. That's "IF".
Personally, with apologies to NFLX longs, I hope BBI does roll it out 'cause I live only 3 minutes walk from a BBI outlet (downtown residential area of a major city) so for me walking to BBI takes only 1 minute more than walking to the closest mail box.
Anyway, good luck to all longs. I am not ready to go long on NFLX yet.