Commentary

Netflix vs. Blockbuster and the increasing cohesivness of media sources

The online movie rental industry is at war; Netflix and Blockbuster are trying and trying to outdo each other.

I have tried both Netflix and Blockbuster, and found that the services are very comparable. They both have minimized the amount of shipping time the extent of movies available and so on to the maximum extent. They have recently had to find unique ways to out do each other. Blockbuster used a resource that Netflix could not match, and that is the availability of stores to return movies and check out new ones. Netflix was then faced with a situation. They had to find an equally enticing reason for people to choose them over Blockbuster. It took them a little while, but it is this writer's position that they have done it. Netflix has come up with what could be the future of movie rental. They have begun to put movies online, available for download. They currently only have about 1000 movies, but I am sure they will begin to expand the number of movies they have available.

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Now, most people do not enjoy watching movies on a small computer screen, but thanks to increasing technology the line between all forms of technology are growing smaller. We have a phone now that also is a GPS, camera, word processor, Ipod, etc. Along the same lines the separation between television and computer is gone as a simple HDMI cable attached to a plasma television allows you to see your computer screen on your television. This means that in the future when you want to rent a movie you don’t have to go to the movie store, or wait three days for the movie to come in the mail, you simply log onto your Netflix account and download whatever movie you see fit.

This melding of media forums (computer and television) raises questions about how far the trend could go. Someday will we simply have one media tool? I see a future in which our television, phone, GPS, camera, stereo, computer, alarm clock, remote control, door lock, photo album, light switch, video game system etc. will all operate off of one basic platform or device. Right now the leader in this trend appears to be visionary companies like Netflix and Apple - the future will show who takes the lead.

2 comments about "Netflix vs. Blockbuster and the increasing cohesivness of media sources".
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  1. Tuan Tran, October 22, 2007 at 11:25 a.m.

    I don't know if you are still subscribed with Blockbuster but recently, they just pulled a foul move that pretty much upset most of their subscribers. Not only did they raise the fee by an extra $1 per month, they also limited to 4 in store rental exchanges per month plus 1 movie ticket. That ticket that Blockbuster sends by email can not longer be used to rent games like it could previously. So while Netflix gave more services to their subscribers, Blockbuster removed them and charges more to do so.

  2. David Mullings from Realvibez Media LLC, October 22, 2007 at 12:53 p.m.

    I am a Netflix subscriber and Blockbuster certainly won't be my choice anytime soon. The writer correctly points out where technology and content delivery is going.

    Right now I can hook up a Mac Mini to an HDTV and watch tons of content online and on TV. My favorite is Joost but I am sure Netflix will add many more titles to the mix.

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