As Blockbuster tries to catch up with it's main competition, Netflix. It is making it even easier to rent movies online.
In 2004, Blockbuster started offering customers its own service for online movie rentals. Before that, to rent movies online could only be done through Netflix who was doing much better than bricks and mortar type rental stores.
For example, Hollywood Video, which was once considered a leader in the industry, has seen it's business go down since online movie rentals came along.
Lucky for Blockbuster, they were able to adapt to the changing landscape of the online movie rental business fast enough to stay in business.
What does Blockbuster offer that the others don't? Today, it's Netflix that has to do some catching up to Blockbuster. Blockbuster customers can rent on Blu-Ray at no extra cost. Netflix charges extra for this benefit.
The other major advantage Blockbuster has over Netflix is its brick-and-mortar stores. While traditional retail outlets seemed at first to be an old-fashioned handicap for people looking for movies to rent, today Blockbuster markets their stores as an added perk that Netflix doesn't have.
And it's true: with 7,000 stores in 21 countries, Blockbuster makes it easy to return movies locally.
So if a customer feels like renting a movie for the weekend but doesn't want to venture out to the store, they can rent online from Blockbuster, then drop it by the store on their way to work on Monday morning.
Blockbuster also offers one more benefit over Netflix: game rentals. Netflix offers its customers only movies and television shows, and although it has a wide variety of these, it still doesn't offer video games.
Blockbuster's inventory has long included video games, so it was a natural choice to include game rentals when Blockbuster started offering online movie rentals.
To rent 1, 2 or 3 movies at one time costs the same. The fixed monthly charges are $8.99, $13.99 and $16.99.
Do these benefits make Blockbuster a better choice than Netflix? That depends upon your perspective. If you're a Blu-ray owner, then yes, it's better to rent movies online from Blockbuster.
If you're a gamer, then yes, it's better to rent movies online from Blockbuster.
If all you're looking for a good selection of movies and don't mind mailing DVDs back to Netflix, then the two services are basically equal
If you have never tried an online movie rental service before it may seem odd to rent and receive movies by mail. But it is actually a lot simpler, convenient and cheaper than renting from a store.
There's no need to leave the house or compete with other shoppers to get the titles you want. Just make up your preferred viewing list, then sit back and relax as they get delivered right to your door.
How do you get started? To start, you just fill out your shipping and billing information and start a list of your favorite movies. And at most sites, you can get a free trial.
You can try the service free for 2 weeks and see if you like it.
How do deliveries and returns work? DVDs arrive in the mail with packaging to make the return quick and easy. When you rent via online movie rental services, the DVDs usually arrive within two or three days. Delivery times also depends on how far you are from the nearest distribution center.
Some urban areas have one-day turnaround. DVDs are sent and returned through the postal service, making the online movie rental process very easy and convenient.
On the website, information in your account keeps track of what movies you've seen and what movies you'd like to see next. When you have watched your movie, just send it back in the mail. The next one on your list will go out automatically once the last one has been received.
Most online movie rental sites also keep track of the kind of movies you like. In your online account, there are also suggestions for movies you may never have thought about renting. Some services even allow you to recommend movies to friends. If someone you know also has an account, they can flag movies for you that you might like.
If you don't like to wait, there are quicker ways to get hold of your movie? Yes there are. Many online services also allow you to instantly watch films so you don't have to wait for them to arrive in the mail. These movies play directly on your computer or any other internet ready device.
With special equipment, you can even watch them right on your television. This instant access to movies and television shows makes it even easier and more convenient to rent online