The war over direct-to-mail DVD rentals continues, even in my own house. My mother has both Blockbuster Online* and Netflix* this month, and she’s torn over which one to keep. On the one hand, she can easily return her Blockbuster DVDs to one of their physical stores, and come home with even more movies – and there’s a store not far from her place of work. Seems like Blockbuster might be the better value, for her.
On the other hand, she doesn’t like the way the categories are on the Blockbuster site, and there still isn’t as good of a selection. And, Netflix introduced a new feature last month: Watch Now. Streaming video, on your desktop, free. You get as many hours as dollars you pay for your plan (my mom is on the $15 plan, so she gets 15 hours of free streaming video a month). The feature isn’t available to all subscribers yet, but it’s being rolled out to everyone over the course of the next 6 months. Looks like my mom got in on the ground floor, because I can access the feature from her account.
So, who’s winning now? Well, I can’t tell you who my mom will pick. She really seems to be taking advantage of the Blockbuster in-store exchange, so we’ll have to see at the end of the month which she chooses. But if it were me? I’m still partial to Netflix. Bigger selection, funding of independent films, and streaming videos are all major pluses to me (I already watch LOST and other shows that are offered free on the network websites). Also, I wouldn’t use the in-store exchange of Blockbuster very often. Not that I have the money for video rentals, but, you know.