Thoughts on Blockbuster ONDEMAND


blockbuster ondemand logoOk. So I’ve been thinking about Blockbuster ONDEMAND. I’ve got to say… I’m not impressed with the company’s new service offering. I’ve been a happy and loyal Blockbuster Online subscriber for a few years now and I can’t justify buying a set-top, even though it’s being bundled for $99, if the movies I want to view start at $1.99. Here’s why: currently my monthly subscription is $19.99 for 3 at-a-time/unlimited with 5 in-store movie exchanges a month. Realistically in a month I get about 12 DVDs through the mail and exchange 5 of those for in-store movies — total 17 movies in a month (majority being New Releases within the past month or two). As such, if I wanted to watch 17 movies through the new ONDEMAND sevice, it would cost me a “starting” price of $33.83. I like convenience like the next guy, but value always wins out in my book.

What Blockbuster should consider doing

Sell subscription packages to its ONDEMAND service. Meaning… offer 10, 25, Unlimited Movie Downloads subscription packages at a set price point — with additional movies downloaded offered at a discounted price.

Example:
10 Movie a month download plan — $12.99 (additional downloads $1.99 each)
25 Movie a month download plan — $24.99 (additional downloads $1.99 each)
Unlimited — $65

If Blockbuster had something like this, I’d switch plans/service right now.




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Filed in: Content Providers, Industry Buzz


  • Bobman

    How does this compare to Netflix? With Netflix I can watch all I want (of the ones they support watching online) for no additional cost. Does BlockBuster support new releases and popular stuff via their OnDemand service?

  • http://www.ehomeupgrade.com Alexander Grundner

    Yes. Blockbuster ONDEMAND serves up all the latest new releases for download. Blockbuster states that their latest ONDEMAND selections are typically titles released within 30 days of their DVD release date. Which is perfect because that’s the type content I want to view. Also, the download archive is based on the Movielink assets they acquired back in August ’08. Jump to http://www.blockbuster.com to learn more.

    Blockbuster ONDEMAND set-top package/service details (Note: no subscription is required):
    http://www.blockbuster.com/ondemand?mcid=14400012&mlid=17008639&

    Quote from Netflix’s FAQ about their Watch Instantly service:
    http://www.netflix.com/HowItWorks?lnkctr=ma08Thiw8

    The ability to instantly watch movies (some new releases) & TV episodes (including current season) streamed from Netflix to your PC or Mac is included with all plans. Choose from over 12,000 movies & TV episodes. With most membership plans, you can watch as often as you want, anytime you want. This is a bonus to the DVDs you get by mail and is included with your membership for no additional monthly fee.

    * Biggest complaint about Netflix’s watch instantly offering is that it consists largely of old movies and tv shows. Of course, that may change as time goes on.

    * Lastly, trying to compare the two services is like comparing apples and oranges in terms of how their plans work.

  • http://www.ehomeupgrade.com Alexander Grundner

    That’s wrong. Blockbuster’s “downloads” can be viewed within 2 minutes from the time you make your selection.
    http://www.blockbuster.com/download/howItWorks

    Additional info

    Blockbuster’s 2Wire MediaPoint Manual
    http://www.blockbuster.com/content/v.4.230.3.0/media/settopbox/2wire_STB_user_guide.pdf

    Renting and Downloading Movies
    [...]
    4. If you wish, you can begin viewing the movie you just rented in a matter of seconds, even while the movie is downloading. See “Watching Movies” on page 3-22 for more information.

    * Jump to page 21 for details on renting and watching movies

  • http://www.ehomeupgrade.com/2008/12/10/video-blockbusters-2wire-mediapoint-vod-box/ Video: Blockbuster’s 2Wire MediaPoint VOD Box | eHomeUpgrade

    [...] HackingBlockbuster.com has published a video of the 2Wire MediaPoint Digital Media Player designed for Blockbuster that showcases the system’s interface, content selection, and usability. So, if you’re curious on how well polished the system is, give it a look. ZNF also has a write-up with initial setup impressions – verdict: not ready for prime time. However, ZNF concedes most technical issues can be ironed out with a firmware upgrade. But the real question is: Is the Blockbuster’s VOD box a compelling offering to consumers? (I already posted my thoughts on the topic earlier.) [...]