Blockbuster Gains Half-a-Million Subscribers: Is the DVD Rental Giant Back?

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Blockbuster Gains Half-a-Million SubscribersAfter Netflix’s second big gaff, Dish Network unveiled its new Blockbuster Movie Pass service, which offers DVD rentals and video streaming for $10; however, did they really capitalize on this opportunity? Yes and no.

We’ll start with the no. While this deal reminds us of the good-old days with Netflix, there is a big nasty catch: you have to be a Dish Network subscriber. For those of us who prefer or need video streaming to be part of the deal and don’t have Dish Network, this is leaving us out in the cold.

For now, Netflix is the probably the best video streaming option. Blockbuster’a video-on-demand is $3.99 per movie, which is already being done at Amazon, and it only offers 3,000 movies compared to Netflix’s 20,000 and Amazon’s 11,000. However, if you want DVDs or Blu-rays, Blockbuster’s Total Access is the superior option over Netflix’s newly spawned Qwikster.

Overall, while I consider the announcement of Blockbuster Movie Pass to be a let down (but if you’re a Dish Network subscriber, good for you), that doesn’t mean Blockbuster hasn’t miss the chance to incite more anti-Netflix sentiment and has not capitalized on Netflix’s missteps.

Blockbuster has added almost 500,000 subscribers in the past 30 days. Promoting themselves as the anti-Netflix is paying dividends; however, the caveat to this statistic is that they didn’t distinguish between paying and 30-day free trial subscribers.

Regardless of the technicality, people are jumping back on the Blockbuster train, taking advantage of Total Access’ unlimited in-store and by-mail exchanges of DVDs, Blu-rays, and video games. Blockbuster Total Access is $2 more a month, but the benefits over Qwikster are substantial.

People are giving Blockbuster a shot at redemption and the company is doing their best in this campaign. Twitter was a buzz with Blockbuster’s #GoodbyeNetflix campaign this past Friday. Blockbuster offered a free yearlong subscription to their new Blockbuster Movie Pass service to the person with best Qwikster-bashing tweet.

While Blockbuster missed the chance to really knock Netflix down with a good video streaming option, Netflix’s DVD-by-mail service, Qwikster, is now at a serious disadvantage. Hopefully, Blockbuster doesn’t blow this opportunity and remind people why they left in the first place.

About Arthur Pignotti

Before joining CD-Info in 2010, Pignotti worked as a video editor, a multimedia designer, and a multimedia development manager at US Digital Media for 6 years. He has two BAs in journalism and history from Arizona State University and will be receiving an MA in history from Arizona State next year.
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