Without a doubt, the online DVD rental business is booming, and the clear leaders of the pack are Netflix and Blockbuster. These two companies both offer membership programs with monthly charges in the fifteen to twenty dollar range, but Blockbuster and Netflix do have some differences that are worth mentioning. Many analysts predict that in the future, Netflix and Blockbuster will merge to form one online DVD rental giant, but for now, they remain each other’s stiffest competition.
The hottest feature of both Netflix and Blockbuster is that both companies offer members unlimited rentals. You can have three movies rented at a time, and as soon as you finish a DVD, you can send it back for another one, free of shipping charges in either direction. When you create your membership with either company, you will then be asked to create a list of movies that you would like in your rental queue, and of course, you can add or take away DVDs from that list at any time.
One of the main reasons that consumers are leery of signing up with a DVD rental program like Netflix or Blockbuster is that they don’t want to be bound to a contract that will be a pain in the you-know-what to get out of. Luckily, canceling your rental membership with either one of these rental companies really couldn’t be easier. There are no cancellation penalties or fees, and you are free to cancel your membership at any time, from the convenience of their websites or calling centers. The deals offered by these companies might sound too good to be true, but the fact of the matter is that the competition is palpably close between these two frontrunners, and when Netflix and Blockbuster compete, the customers win.
Netflix was the first to assert itself as the leader for online DVD rentals, but unlike Netflix, Blockbuster has been a trusted household name for decades. Since 1985, Blockbuster has been providing quality movie rental service and support at its nationwide retail stores. Netflix doesn’t have any storefronts – they exist, as far as customers will ever see, only in the illustrious world of cyberspace. Since so many consumers have trepidation about the safety and security of the internet, it is likely that Blockbuster, the more familiar name, will seem like the better bet to such consumers. There’s always that fear of the unknown – and Blockbuster doesn’t have to overcome that hurdle as they enter the online DVD rental business, whereas Netflix definitely has and will continue to have to face that precarious challenge.
Even though Netflix came out ahead of Blockbuster in the online DVD rental business, many skeptics wonder how long they can stay on top. After all, Blockbuster has much more money than Netflix does because Blockbuster has a much wider scope. Supporters of Netflix say that they would prefer to stay with Netflix over Blockbuster because Blockbuster is risking turning into a jack of all trades, and a master of none. Netflix is focused on one market only: online DVD rentals. They don’t have to worry about thousands of retail business like Blockbuster does. However, another way of looking at it is that Blockbuster has already established itself as the indisputable rental leader, and they are just changing with the times in their implementation of online DVD rentals. Blockbuster has the financial capital to merchandize and promote its online rental program in a very aggressive manner, and over time, Netflix could be swept under the proverbial corporate rug. For now, customers find themselves in a fabulous win-win situation, so there’s never been a better time to give online DVD rentals a try!