Blockbuster Won’t Survive: CEO Says “Conservative Approach” Required For Digital

6a00d834518e1c69e201157115de66970c-800wi Eight months ago I wrote a post entitled “Ten Years Later, Blockbuster Still Lacks A Digital Media Strategy” where I outlined some of the ways that Blockbuster has faltered with their strategy for the digital distribution of movies. After the post, I heard from some angry shareholders who wanted to argue with me about how the company would turn it around and I received a call from Blockbuster directly who wanted to brief me on their digital media strategy.

While it was great to hear directly from the company on what digital initiatives they were working on and their pitch to me on why things would get better for the company, I’m afraid that eight months later, things have only gotten worse. While I don’t doubt that some of the folks working on the digital media strategy at Blockbuster get it, if you just look at some of the things Blockbuster’s CEO said last week on their earnings call, you can clearly see that the company simply doesn’t have the right culture to be successful with digital.

When asked different questions about Blockbuster’s digital strategy, CEO Jim Keyes responded by saying things like, “these times demand a conservative approach,” and that the company “will proceed cautiously as to how aggressive the company should be.” For a company that has almost no digital offering today, those are some pretty scary statements. The last thing Blockbuster can afford to do is stay at the same slow pace for a digital offering roll-out that they are at now. For all the talk of what Blockbuster is actively working on, I still don’t think they have a single successful deal involving digital they can talk about today. Of course, some will say that they have already signed deals to get their platform on to TVs and mobile phones, but so far, those deals are meaningless.

Six months after making a big PR splash that Blockbuster’s platform was now available on TiVo, Blockbuster only has a total of 26 HD movies available and just under 1,000 movies all together. To put that in perspective, Apple has more than 2,500 HD only movies available via iTunes. How can Blockbuster think they are going to make any traction in the market with a catalog of 26 HD movies on a platform that has less than 1.5M stand-alone subscribers? YouTube and Netflix content on the TiVo platform has to date only streamed a few million videos in total, or as TiVo put it “millions and millions of streams” – and that’s content that is free.

Of course one of the major arguments I heard from some shareholders the last time I wrote about Blockbuster was that Blockbuster’s big advantage is that the vast majority of their customers rent new releases. Apparently they felt I didn’t “get it” since they seem to think that gives Blockbuster a huge advantage in the market. While they are right in that about 80% of Blockbuster’s rentals are from new releases, show me one instance how that has helped them on the digital front? If Blockbuster has all these new releases, why are only 26 movies available in HD on TiVo? And for all the shareholders who think Blockbuster is going to be on fifteen or twenty million devices by the end of this year, that’s just not realistic.

Another deal I hear some shareholders talk about is the one with T-Mobile where Blockbuster will be the exclusive movie download experience embedded on the upcoming HTC HD2 smartphone in the U.S. While that sounds nice, there are a couple of major problems keeping this from being a big deal. For starters, consumers have already shown us that they don’t want to download full-length movies to their phones, let alone pay for that content. Not to mention, the movies will only be available to download on the phones via WiFi and from folks at T-Mobile I have spoken to, they hope to sell a “few million” HTC HD2 phones over the next eighteen months. That’s not enough of an install base to make any real impact on Blockbuster’s business. Oh, and I should also mention that in Blockbuster’s PR release with T-Mobile the company said that, “This will be the first download and multi-screen mobile movie application for Blockbuster and is part of the Blockbuster multichannel offering to connect customers with more than 100,000 movies, television shows and games.” Well if 100,000 is the number they are aiming for, they are currently at 1% with their movie inventory on TiVo.

Listening to Blockbuster’s earnings call last week, you really get a good feel on just how confused they, or at least their CEO is. Additional answers to questions included statements like, “As for the competition, we’re not worried. The Blockbuster brand is so well-known. Netflix is much more longtail. We’re known for hit movies. So this is all very good to us.” Other statements included, “Netflix has said that it is not interested in going into mobile. So we think we’ve got a nice head start in mobile.” Why do companies seem to think they can be successful in every market just because they have a “well-known brand”? Having a well known brand in retail does not automatically carry over to digital. Not to mention, the company has one announced deal in the mobile space, for a phone that has not yet even been released, but they think that gives them a “head start”? And would someone please tell Blockbuster’s CEO that it does not matter if you have a “well-known brand”, it only matters if that brand is connected to a service or product that consumers feel is valuable. One could very easily use the example of Toyota, which has a very well-known brand, but not for a good reason.

In an interview on CBNC last Thursday, Blockbuster’s CEO said, “we don’t think we’re late on the digital side” and he also made the comment that when it comes to digital, “there is very little actual traffic today.” Apparently he missed the press release from Netflix and Microsoft from last year that said in the first three months of Netflix being on the Xbox platform, Netflix streamed 1.5 billion minutes worth of videos. That’s not a number you can argue with. You have to shake your head wondering how or why Blockbuster’s board would want the CEO speaking on digital when clearly he’s not aware of what’s going on in the market. Just watch the CNBC interview, (the link to the video is no longer active) listen to the direct questions asked and then listen to all of the fluff and marketing provided for answers. If Blockbuster does in fact have a real digital strategy like the CEO says, where is it? Has anyone seen them present it in public? Is there a slide that showcases what they are working on? I got some details from Blockbuster eight months ago when they were nice enough to walk me through it, but most of it was from a high-level with no real details other than to reinforce they want to be on as many devices as possible. Well isn’t that everyone’s digital media strategy? While no company is under any obligation to share their game plan with the market, for a company that has no creditability on Wall Street or the industry when it comes to a digital strategy, you’d think they would go out of their way to prove otherwise.

I didn’t see it get a lot of press but it was interesting to see that last week, Blockbuster quietly brought back late fees on video rentals in their stores. While that may help their core business, it’s not going to do anything to help their digital offering. I have a Blockbuster store 6 blocks from my house, yet I use the Redbox machine that is right across the street from them in the grocery store. If I wanted to use a Blockbuster Express machine, I’d have to drive about 15 miles away since Blockbuster won’t put machines in any locations close to where they have a store. As a result, they leave me no choice but to use Redbox.

While I am not a shareholder in Blockbuster or any other public company, some of their shareholders sure are adamant about the stock. One of the funniest comments I got was from a shareholder who wanted to convince me that the brick and mortar stores would always do better than digital due to the “experience” it provides. He wrote, “many consumers still find it fun to rent DVDs at a physical store instead of getting movies in the mail because of the experience of walking into a store where there are lights and other videos to look at and the whole experience“. Maybe that’s true if you’re a five year old, but if that’s the biggest thing Blockbuster has going for their brick and mortar business, then don’t be surprised when their lights go out sometime soon.

  • http://www.medco.com Brian Lehmbeck

    I personally can not remember the last time I went to a physical store to rent a movie.
    It must be years.
    I am a Netflix customer and have not looked back.

  • http://www.ibsys.com Arul Sundaram

    In general, I agree with most of your comments, but Blockbuster is willing to put their Blockbuster Express kiosks fairly close to their stores – at least in NYC. I have a Blockbuster store 2.5 blocks from me, but Blockbuster has put their kiosks in supermarkets (Gristedes) and drugstores (Duane Reade). That means that there is a Blockbuster Express directly across the street from me, and there’s another two doors down from the physical store (and another 2 blocks from there). Their rent online to pick up at the kiosk program seems like a step in the right direction to me. None of these are revolutionary steps, and it’s hard to see how they’ll make money renting movies at less than $1 / day (factoring in the free rental coupons), but it’s gotten my family to rent from Blockbuster 3 or 4 times already this year – and we hadn’t been into a Blockbuster store in years.

  • http://www.BusinessOfVideo.com Dan Rayburn

    Hi Arul, well that’s good to hear, wish they would put some machines near me. But whenever I look at their map of where the machines are, there is always a big void of all machines for a few mile radius of wherever their store is, here in Westchester County.

  • Rob

    You forgot about Coinstar. Coinstar is killing Blockbuster from the bottom up. They pioneered the $1 kiosk rental and Blockbuster is only now responding.
    I think you are correct Dan,their CEO doesn’t have a clue (and probably their board too) and they are just too tentative and late to the game.

  • David H

    Have you ever been to a reatil Blockbuster with teenagers or children? Everytime I go, we spend $4 on the video and $12 on candy. The DVDs are just a loss leader to push candy, soda, and popcorn.

  • Mike

    Judging by that CNBC interview, they are pretty much dead :/
    I used to be a member myself but ever since I switched to Netflix I have never looked back.
    “Little actual traffic” statement is laughable. Yesterday me and my significant other watched a movie on our PS3 using Netflix streaming. My little girl constantly uses it to stream her Dora the Explorer and other cartoons.
    There is a Blockbuster across the street but there is just no reason to go there anymore. Between Netflix mail, streaming on Netflix/Hulu/etc., and a Redbox at the nearby grocery store there is just not much a Blockbuster store can provide.

  • http://www.digitalovercast.com Kien

    I am a shareholder of BBI and agree that the CEO needs to get his act together. I am EXTREMELY disappointed with the current and future direction and vision the company is taking. At this point I’ll be happy just breaking even and getting out. I have better places to invest my hard earned money.

  • Sathya

    Your comment on “consumers have already shown us that they don’t want to download full-length movies to their phones”
    are u refering to some survey done? if YES can u please point me to this.

  • http://www.BusinessOfVideo.com Dan Rayburn

    Hi Sathya, no need to do any kind of survey on that, just talk to the content creators and carriers like Sprint who have been offering this kind of service for quite some time. Off the record they will tell you there is no real adoption and they won’t even give out any numbers on how many movies have been consumed as the numbers are so low.

  • Scott C

    They are a strong brand in need of minor changes to thier dirtribution model. They will not turn out the lights soon. They however may find better suited business partners that help them align with the market. They are clearly undervalued…but keep up the hype. Your advertisisers love bashing any possible compitetion.

  • http://www.BusinessOfVideo.com Dan Rayburn

    Scott, can you please tell me which of my “advertisers” is competitive to Blockbuster? Netflix is not a sponsor of my blog, neither is Apple, or Cinema Now. So do you actually want to debate the facts at hand, or simply use a baseless excuse to dismiss what this post is actually saying?

  • Dirk

    @rob. Nobody forgot about Coinstar.. Coinstar is Redbox.

  • http://drewschug.com Drew

    Good insights, especially the parts about having a brand and thinking digitally moving forward. Thanks for sharing.

  • Scott C

    1) You are implying that relationships like Tivo and the early release rights(programming acquisitions) do not give BlockBuster a strong brand? Wow!
    2) You are implying that they will go out of business, no mention that they will partner up. Already in play.
    3) Information Today does have existing business relationship with common interest companies. It will only take a day of investigating to produce that list.
    4) The big piece that your article lack is the value of distribution channels and the value of brands.
    5) They will:
    A) Sell off the DVD subs for a good price.
    B) Pay down debt.
    C) Drop the crappy model for fixed buildings.
    D) Leverage partnerships for existing and new pipelines.
    6) These guys will morph and not fade out. Wait 9 months and revisit this post. I only agree that fixed stores are on the out. The rest seems baseless.

  • Eric L

    Good post Dan.
    I’m actually surprised BlockBuster is still around, I’ve been expecting the lights out for a few years now.
    FYI: I have no shares in Blockbuster, Netflix, or any video distribution company. Just find it interesting to watch how some brands adapt, while others stick their heads in the sand.

  • http://blog.jippidy.com Julian

    Almost all blockbuster retail stores near me (East San Francisco Bay Area) have recently liquidated within the last 6 months or so, and it’s easy to see why. From their complete lack of a digital/social media presence to the fact that the “experience” of going to rent a DVD in the store is actually a major disadvantage, it is obvious that this company is dead on arrival. Netflix is an awesome service of convenience and variety – i love the “experience” of ripping open that little red envelope to see what movie has arrived; their site’s UI makes queueing all the newest releases to being timed perfectly to arrive a day or two after they are released completely hassle-free; and streaming Netflix via PS3 and now Wii means if I’m waiting for a movie in the mail, I can stream something in the mean time. Redbox has a niche in the immediacy of a new release – I don’t have to wait for the mail to arrive, I just look online for any Redbox near me that has the title I want in stock. I just don’t see what niche or role Blockbuster can possibly work to fulfill?

  • yaya

    I won’t be using BlockBuster anymore. I’ve done away with renting all together. I just purchase what I want. The experience that I had which led me to stop renting was when I returned 3 dvds due that day to my local BB. I got home to realize that I had forgotten another DVD that was due that day. So the next day when I checked it in at the counter to go ahead and pay for the late fee, the CSR at the counter said that she showed two other dvds still checked out accrueing late fees. I responded by letting the CSR know that we turned the others in on time the day before. The CSR looked and indeed found them on the shelf. So basically, the day before I turned in 3. 1 was checked in correctly and the other 2 had just been put back on the shelf without being checked in. They said that the problem had been resolved, and not to worry because “this kind of thing happens a lot.” It was easily resolved because I was at that store that day. What about those people who only rent every once in a while. I think BB has a policy that after so many days of not paying a late charge they take it out of the credit card you’ve used with them. No wonder business is going down. Needless to say, if not accurately checking in a dvd or game in before placing it back on the shelf is commonplace for them, people will tire of it. I don’t want anyone to be without a job, I just think that they need to up their accountability to the customers. Then things will be better.

  • http://wlmalmborg.blogspot.com William Malmborg

    I do enjoy Blockbusters DVD by mail rental better than Netflix for one reason, and that is because I can exchange the DVDs I get in the mail with ones they have in the store, which is good when you want another title right away. Without the DVD by mail in store return option, however, I would never have a reason to go into the brick and mortar stores.

  • http://www.BusinessOfVideo.com Dan Rayburn

    @Scott C: You said, “Information Today does have existing business relationship with common interest companies. It will only take a day of investigating to produce that list.”
    Ok, I’m waiting to see that list from you.
    You say, “The big piece that your article lack is the value of distribution channels and the value of brands.” Here we go again with the “brands” argument. If they have such a strong brand, why is that doing nothing to impact their bottom line? Why aren’t they doing better financially due to their “strong brand”? Brands alone are not enough to keep a company in business.
    You tell me to “Wait 9 months and revisit this post.” I will. But this is the same argument many Blockbuster shareholders told me either months ago when I wrote the first post. Every time I hear from them, they say “just wait another year”.

  • http://www.flashdrm.com Christopher Levy

    @Dan: I disagree about the download model. Actually PPV Downloads are the only area of growth in our business. Yes the CARRIERS offerings sucked and nobody was buying from them as a result. Verizon, Sprint etc all made weak offerings. Actual Download sites however are expanding.

  • http://twitter.com/miguellucero Miguel

    Like you said, it comes down to being late and poor execution.
    Hope you don’t mind me adding my thoughts:
    They’re getting KILLED in real life AND online.
    Netflix OWNS mail-order. I think we can all agree that they’re doing that so well that Blockbuster won’t ever come close to a dent in their mail-order. Anything they can gain here is a bonus. Netflix streaming is a different story.
    Redbox has KILLED them in real life. Every RedBox I’ve ever seen has a line of 3+ people waiting. They could stand to have TWO RedBoxes at most locations in my area. Really, the vending machine idea was brilliant. It also proves that people still like renting DVDs. BB has the machines but they now need locations.
    It’s a tough spot to be in but it doesn’t put them at certain death.
    So, how can Blockbuster come back?
    The Blockbuster Movie Stream.

    A REAL online movie catalog. Netflix’s catalog is still a joke. Do you want to watch, “Helvetica”, or “Dirty Jobs”? That’s all you get on Netflix streaming. Come on…
    Streaming is it. It’s the only area where BB still has a chance to compete. Maybe pickup BB.com or rebuild Blockbuster.com into a streaming destination and market it as such.
    They need a good and current movie catalog though. It’s the only way they’ll draw viewers.
    They company is riding on this. I hope they realize how important it is.
    Easy Real Life Rentals

    Reduce real life distro network to something like 1-2 man shops & vending machines. They’re going to have to do something about the location issue since RedBox has practically cornered them. RedBox has proven that people will still rent.
    It just has to be easy and not a BS “experience”.
    A Blockbuster Torrent Network?

    Use readily available technology to distribute movies. Legitimize it. Pull P2P movie distribution out of the shady corners of the internet and own it. Use Torrents to sell movies. People WILL let you use their broadband to distribute movies.
    They need to do SOMETHING. It’s just not going to happen with midnight openings and betting the company on a new release advantage.
    Why aren’t investors calling for management’s head? Are the people investing in BB just as delusional?
    Miguel

  • Nomo Blockbuster

    BB shareholders have no argument when all is said and done. The executives of the company, the same executives that ran 7-Eleven at one point, are now running Blockbuster right into the ground. Sell, already!

  • J

    Have any of you heard about Family Video? They are one of Blockbusters lesser known competitors that are opening more stores then ever while Blockbuster and Movie Gallerys are closing. Same type of business but they know how to do it right. Their moto is “Customer Service is the priority” They really believe the customer is always right. Amazing deals too. Free kids movies, 1/2 price rentals for first 30 days as new member and that 1/2 price can be renewed. New Releases are under $3.00 and all other movies are only $1!!! AMAZING!!!!

  • J

    As a bb member, I can’t for the life of me get the Netflix
    Euphoria. I tried it out for 2 months, and its a dismal service, no new releases, the streaming barely acceptable and of old movies you can see on cable or other free web services, and more expensive. It offers nothing bb doesn’t, and charges xtra for blu ray. Lets compare.
    both $8.99 unlimited, 1@ time,+ $3 BR surharge on netflix.
    Both, 13.99 same cost again, + $4 charge for netflIx BR wit two at a time
    Both 16.99 for 3@time, Bray charge on Netflix.
    Meanwhile on BB I get 5 free store xchanges/mth, which I use to pick up new releases on Tuesday’s (or immediately xchange a mailed movie I do not want to see that night) , if they’re not forthcoming in the mail already, walk to store 1/2 mile and get some exercise to boot.
    With Netflix wait a month for new releases, and play around with all the other outlets, redbox,etc., to fill in the holes, PLEASE, when the simplest and most effective solution is BB. .could they improve, well duh, but it is absurd that Netflix is heralded as God’s video solution, when the actual better outlet is failing because of lack of knoedge, information and media overexposure.
    Suggestions for BB:
    1. $3.99/2 days new releases. $1/day thereafter.
    2. $2.99/5 days, other movies up to 2 yrs old
    3. $0.99/5days all others.
    4. Same on VOD capability. Charge $3.99 for new releases, $1.99 for those up to two yrs and those older free streaming. Your customers will flock back and new ones will come. As of now, can’t help but abandon ship.
    Simplify.

  • Greg Millen

    I think that Blockbuster does have a chance to make a come back. Their service is actually better than Netflix but it is not well promoted and people don’t know about it. If they can continue to open Kiosk in locations then I think they will be in good shape. I stay in East Lansing(I’m a Spartan) and we have no blockbuster kiosk in the area. Either way if they come back or not Blockbuster stocks are under a dollar a share any body with $50 to loose should just invest, it’s a no brainer. If Blockbuster makes a decent comeback and there stock rises you can make some good money for a small investment. I’m definitely going to buy some shares why not

  • Nomo Blockbuster

    I wouldn’t even waste your money on Blockbuster’s stock even if it is dirt-cheap.
    Blockbuster has just announced it is selling its European operations. Basically, the company is running out of options to stay alive and is shutting down its international stores before closing all the domestic stores for good. That’s how it should be.

  • John L

    Everyone who stated that Blockbuster will turn around, I’d like to thank you for helping me to laugh on what was a pretty rough day for me.
    I live in Wilmington, NC. Two blockbuster stores shut down in the past year. One Hollywood video shut down that I am aware of. Anybody who is sure Blockbuster will survive is just not living in the present. Read this – http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSNN1611187620100316?type=marketsNews – they just don’t have the cash to pay down their debt. BBI management and board missed any chances they had years ago when they were not so debt laden. Sell your BBI penny stock now, it’s not going to get any better.
    I stopped going to Blockbuster 6 years ago when I had a late fee that got out of hand. It just didn’t make sense to me that my few day’s old late fee were worth more than a rental I forgot I had rented. Netflix sold me with their wonderful mail rental program, then Redbox. Now, I simply use Netflix and stream the movies I want, when I want.
    Why is blockbuster dying? I believe this article made that clear – too much caution and poor management. But what motivated caution? Too much debt for one.
    @Dan, I’m waiting for your next article titled “Blockbuster declares bankruptcy”. Until then, ciao.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/bldgcharacter Scott

    To Dan and several others who’ve posted comments here.
    Agreed. 2010 is a make it or break it year for Blockbuster. Liquidity is definitely a legitimate concern. But keep reading and you’ll see the company is spending money to make money; transforming itself into the what WILL be the at-home entertainment industry leader.
    Below are a just a few FACTS about how Blockbuster WILL not only survive, but thrive in this rapidly changing industry (and challenging economy) by the end of 2010:
    1. The company has already signed an agreement with Warner that gives them EXCLUSIVE rights to new releases for the first 28 days of a film’s release date (the greatest revenue generating period). The film “The Blindside” is the FIRST title under this agreement. The other studios are following suit and deals will be finalized in the very near term. Check out RedBox and Netflix. Guess what? “The Blindside” won’t be available.
    2. Blockbuster Online has Netflix beat hands down. While the program may not yet have the name recognition Netflix should savor for the short time they’ll continue to have it, that’s about to change. Just see the fact above. In addition, Blockbuster Online offers thousands more titles than Netflix, is less expensive, offers and ENCOURAGES the untouchable advantage of in-store exchanges (to drive traffic to stores) AND is about to launch a completely revamped website, offering an amazingly quick and easy user-friendly experience.
    3. Let’s talk kiosks. While admittedly late to offer this service, Blockbuster Express offers advantages that will make RedBox start collecting dust. At the end of 2009, Blockbuster had approximately 2500 kiosks up and running. By the end of 2010, the company will have 10,000+ kiosks available. They ARE much closer to Blockbuster stores than you mentioned and for good reason. As the number of kiosks grows, the company will begin to offer the ability for consumers to return Express rentals to their local store, with incentives on exchange rentals to (again) drive traffic to store locations. Further, in addition to offering ALL the new releases RedBox WON’T have, Blockbuster Express kiosks also offer the most popular older titles and are preparing to add Blu-Ray to the consumer’s choices which will quickly erode RedBox market share. Finally, the company is also testing offering games through its Express kiosks. Yet another area RedBox can’t touch.
    4. Blockbuster just began offering an incredible program called Direct Access. Members now have “access” to the company’s 95,000+ title library in EVERY store. Same rental price. No commitment. No hassle. Just the ability to rent any available title right at the register and have it in your mailbox in 2-3 business days. As an example, I ordered season one of “True Blood” on a Sunday night. It shipped Monday and I was watching my favorite show on Tuesday night, popcorn in hand. Plus, at the end of my 7-day rental period, I had the option to either drop the envelopes in the mail OR return them to the store and swap each of them for a new release of my choice for only $1.99. Again, this service drives traffic to the stores where the member can engage in actual human contact with employees who LOVE movies.
    5. Let me correct you on your statement about what you refer to as “late fees.” They’re not that at all. If a member decides to enjoy their rental past the 5-day initial rental period, they’re simply renting the movie for $1/day. It’s not a money-making charge for Blockbuster. It’s a fairly-priced service, and gives the consumer the option to keep his/her rental longer for a standard industry price. It’s something I appreciate, since, as a gamer, it sometimes takes me longer than five days to finish playing my game rental, and I don’t have to worry about the added cost of renting the same game twice.
    6. Another innovative service is Blockbuster On-Demand. Instead of paying $25/mo to my cable company to “rent” a DVR, I can buy the latest Tivo at Blockbuster and watch and record the newest titles without flushing money down the toilet on an outdated DVR which I don’t even own, and I recoup the money I spend on the Tivo (it’s mine) in less than ten months. I also have the option to buy one of the best Blu-Ray players on the market (pre-loaded with Blockbuster On-Demand, YouTube, Pandora music service, etc.) and stream the latest movies instantly with my high-speed Internet connection. No waiting for the movie to load either.
    7. Finally, Blockbuster has just begun to give its employees the benefits (bonuses, etc.) it was forced to eliminate when the going got tough. Now why would a company you refer to as “doomed” do that if it weren’t confident about the successes it’s going to achieve in 2010 and beyond?
    So, while in the near-term, Blockbuster may be struggling financially (just like dozens of other companies I could name), the future of the at-home entertainment industry is blue, not red.

  • Nomo Blockbuster

    Blockbuster has been singing the blues for years now and has little to no chance of success of surviving past 2014, the new year a significant portion of its debt is due.
    The more Blockbuster attempts to force itself into consumers’ lives, the more consumers resent it, just like the consumers resent the Blockbuster employees that treated its customers like dirt. What goes around comes around and, for Blockbuster, that means closing for good.

  • http://www.ERTX.com Jim

    A total of 26 HD movies? Are they serious? Netflix has absolutely blown them out of the water.

  • Asx trading

    It doesn’t surprise me hearing such possibility. The glorious years of renting DVDs and VCDs slowly ceases as people can watch movies for free on the comfort of their own home, all they need is just a high-speed internet connection and a computer.

  • mounir

    Its time for them to shut down their stores, and go all mail order and digital. This new game/dvd’s plan is sounding good for right now, but they need to get into the digital side of things asap. and just to let them know, i really, and i mean really hated going to the video store. It was a pain.

  • mel_deschamps

    Blockbuster is emphasizing online movie rentals and is looking at downsizing its stores in urban areas. However, the vast majority of Blockbuster’s store space is wasted on older video selections that customers often ignore in lieu of newer releases.

  • John N

    http://www.usatoday.com/money/media/2010-09-23-blockbuster23_ST_N.htm
    Just thought I’d post a link to a Blockbuster bankruptcy filing article. I was right from my earlier comment. It did happen. I guess people decided not to make it a Blockbuster night.

  • Tim Gardner

    I can’t believe the state blockbuster is in myself. I am only 17 years old, and I have been around since before the beginning of the quickening emergence of the offering of digital media. I had gone to one of the stores recently, and everything is just ridiculously overpriced. My family only uses the coupon to ever get free movies. We pay like 15$ a year or so, and just trade in the movie and print out a free movie coupon, return the movie, and wallah. I don’t know if they have thought about that fact, but if they dropped it, they would lose their highest income resourse… a yearly fee. haha. I personally don’t like the way the employees are pushed to get you to spend your money on obvious overpriced things. I mean, I tried to talk to one of them before, and they said in their most polite voice, “I am not allowed to talk about it, but they have no idea what they are doing.”

  • Matt

    I subscribe to both Netflix and Blockbuster to have the best of both worlds. If you do the cheap version of both that’s still less than 15 dollars a month. And you get all the options Blockbuster offers I’ll list.
    When people say, “I am a Netflix customer and have not looked back.” Or “I can’t live without my netflix” I don’t get it. When did society start accepting less over better? Seriously.
    Blockbuster:
    1. Trade mail movies for movies in the store
    2. Brand new movies 28 days before any other service
    3. Rent video games online
    4. Trade video games from the mail with more games in the store
    5. Face to face customer service
    6. REAL ONLINE customer service that replies within the same day to 24 hours.
    7. Concessions that are so cheap they can’t be making money on them.
    8. A WALL of DVDs to look from instead of having to know what you want to look up.
    9. Trade scratched disks immediately at your closest store instead of having to wait for a new mailed DVD.
    10. Instant sends when you report a problem instead of having to wait 5 days to report a problem like you do with Netflix.
    11. Download ALL movies, even brand new movies, to your computer to keep for 3.99.
    12. Stream brand new movies for free with a Toshiba or Samsung device.
    Netflix:
    1 Too many Partial TV shows you can’t stream all of (seasons are fragmented)
    2 No new movies on the instant view, you can’t stream unlimited movies it’s a deceptive advertising campaign.
    3. Horribly slow delivery times after you’ve been on with them longer than a month (I DO SUBSCRIBE TO BOTH).
    4. You can not report problems with a DVD until 5 days AFTER it’s been shipped.
    5. No Online Customer Service
    6. A phone number you have to call, where at times the hold times are unacceptable.
    7. No new movies until 28 days AFTER Blockbuster gets them.
    8. Wait lists on new movies, sometimes saying “Extremely long wait.”
    9. Their inventory is falling fast. Blockbuster now has more titles available than Netflix does.
    Since I subscribe to both Netflix and Blockbuster I know this for a fact. GO to your Que on your Netflix page. Look at your Instant Que. Look at how many “Unavailable” or “Save” movies there are. Now do the same for your mailer DVD section. There are more unavailable movies from Netflix.

  • Matt

    And Netflix is NOT HD. I’m on an extremely fast connection (FIOS). Regular compressed cable TV looks better than most Netflix streams.

  • Matt

    lastly… my nephews visit frequently. They used to have some cartoons on the instant stream service. Now they’ve all been pulled, and are no longer available even in the DVD rental section. So I went to Blockbuster to check out the online offers. And sure enough, they had all the cartoons and movies that Netflix didn’t have. Including the old school retro toons my Nephews were starting to really like. Like Captain N and the Game Masters. Netflix doesn’t carry it, Blockbuster does.
    The only problem with Blockbuster is their horrible advertising department. They all need to go work somewhere else. For months Blockbuster focused on 2 cute hamsters. SORRY.. that doesn’t work. They needed to tell customers of all the options they had over the other online services like Netflix, Games n Flix, Games By mail, and Redbox.
    Don’t even get me started with Redbox.