Category ArchiveVideo Rental
First off you can sign up for a free trial which provides a month of free service. The service includes unlimited streaming to web browsers and mobile devices with other consumer electronic support coming soon. But not only is this a streaming service it also comes with four DVD retals at Redbox kiosks every month. After your free trial ends the service costs $8 per month.
That is some deal. A similar subscription from Netflix costs twice that amount ($7.99 for streaming and $7.99 for one-DVD-at-a-time by mail = $15.98).
The downside is Netflix has been spending a lot of capital to procure titles for many years now so Redbox is behind on that front. Just a brief glace at the offers showed several new releases (like Denzel Washington’s latest Flight) but mainly a lot of title you’ve never heard of before (The Hit List, Dolan’s Cadillac, etc.).
It’s a free trial, what can you lose?
Video Rental Steven Kippel on 10 Feb 2013
How the new USPS delivery schedule affects your Netflix queue
I understand that a lot of people just stream movies now, but as I’ve discussed before this isn’t a solution for all of us. I particularly like hard to come by movies and TV programs which Netflix carries in DVD format that nobody streams. Of course the main-stream tech media just assumes we all torrent whatever we want so the disc idea is completely dead, I’m not one of those people who steals – yes, it is stealing and all justifications for it are overwrought and wrong – and I don’t encourage you to do so either, so I have a one disc at a time subscription which allows me to catch up on shows like Homocide: Life On The Streets.
I did a bit of the numbers concerning the best-case scenario for Netflix DVD queue; that is I imagined the DVD is watched the night it is received and mailed out the following day. This means the first movie goes back to Netflix on Monday and you receive your next disc on Wednesday. That disc goes out Thursday and your next disc comes back on Saturday. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. Assuming the first week begins with a disc at home, that is nine DVDs in four weeks with the current mail delivery schedule; 105 total discs for a year extrapolated to 52 weeks.
When the USPS moves to their new delivery schedule that Saturday disc won’t arrive until the following Monday. This means in the same four week period only seven discs would be in the home: the first movie goes back to Netflix on Monday and you receive your next disc on Wednesday. That disc goes out Thursday and your next disc comes back on Monday. That disc goes out on Tuesday and the next comes in on Thursday. Out on Friday, in on Tuesday. Out Wednesday, in Friday. Repeat. (This is a three week cycle.) Losing Saturday delivery reduces the figure to approximately 88 total discs for a year.
Netflix one at a time DVD service costs $7.99 per month, or $95.88 per year; make that $0.91 per DVD. Eliminating Saturday delivery can increase that per disc cost to $1.09; an $0.18 increase per disc.
Maybe that’s good for Netflix as they’re using less postage, but it certainly isn’t good for the consumer.
Netflix planning multiple-stream accounts
As Netflix has become more and more ubiquitous, more multi-user homes have been subscribing, causing headaches all around. Families have had to purchase hybrid Blu-ray Discs in order to provide individual user account access.
Personally, I have a stream on my PlayStation 3 and one on my MacBook simultaneously. It’s only an issue with two non-browser devices.
This isn’t a new concept for Netflix. They have offered multiple DVD queues so my wife and I could have separate queues. It seems like a no-brainer to just provide a user setting.
But it’s not so simple. The new plans will have new pricing structures. So if there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s Netflix still doesn’t care about the customer.
Internet connected TVs now in 38% of households
The most commonly used device for video streaming is a video game system, totaling 28% of households. (That’s how I deliver internet video to my TV.) Only 1% of households use Roku or Apple TV, while 4% use internet-capable TVs.
Netflix is far-and-away the leader in streaming video, with 35% of Netflix subscribers streaming video from the Internet weekly – totaling 16% of all adults, compared to 5% weekly use among all non-Netflix subscribers. Two year ago, only 4% of adults used Netflix’s Watch Instantly.
So is America ready to cut their cable? Not quite. Only 13% of Netflix subscribers would consider cancelling their TV provider, which is down from 21% last year.
Have you cancelled your television provider?
I have cancelled my provider. The reasons are varied, but came mainly through life changes in the form of three preschool-aged children. I don’t have time to watch very much television anymore, so it was a waste of money to continue paying for a service I don’t use. And the shows I enjoy watching the most are available on Hulu, Amazon or Netflix, so I can watch on my computer or through my PlayStation 3.
I haven’t felt like I’ve missed out on current TV programs at all. I’ve kept up with all the new episodes of the shows I love: House, White Collar, Fringe, and 30 Rock are all on Hulu. Mad Men and The Walking Dead are available on Amazon for a charge, but combined are much less than a cable subscription. Netflix provides me with past shows I’ve missed further out, and more movies than I can shake a stick at so I can’t really complain about the lack of choices. Generally, new releases are something I want to see in the theater anyway, and if they’re not I don’t need to watch them right away.
But the biggest advantage I’ve had using Netflix instead of cable is for the children. Netflix has a children’s menu that allows my kids to pick which shows they want to watch, and there are no commercials and they don’t have to tune in on the top of the hour. They’re so spoiled in this regard that when watching normal broadcast TV they get upset when a commercial breaks in, and they start asking to watch their show.
As far as live events, I’m not much of a sports guy, but I do watch the occasional football or soccer game over-the-air with rabbit ears.
Amazon finalizes deal with Viacom
Amazon.com announced a new deal with Viacom to bring thousands of new titles to Prime Instant Video. Amazon already had deals with CBS, Fox, Disney-ABC, PBS, NBC, Sony and Warner Bros. Their new library now consists of over 15,000 titles.
Viacom is the parent company of MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, TV Land and VH1. These cable television channels provide popular programming such as Dora the Explorer, Yo Gabba Gabba, iCarly, Chappelle’s Show, Jersey Shore, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report.
Prime Instant Video is included with the $79 per year Amazon Prime membership, which also provides free two-day shipping on Prime items, and free access to books on Kindle.
Amazon is one of the leading video streaming services, with access from select TVs, set-top boxes (like Roku), Blu-ray Disc players, Kindle Fire, Mac and PC.
Verizon and Redbox take aim at Netflix
Two companies who derive much of their public image from the color red are attempting to cut into a third company known for their red envelope. Verizon and Redbox are teaming up to compete head to head with Netflix in the video rental market.
This all makes sense with all of the negative reaction Netflix has taken lately. Why not offer an alternative?
Redbox, which is operated by Coinstar, recently purchased the DVD kiosks from their leading competitor NCR Corp., who mostly operates their kiosks under the Blockbuster Video brand. Meanwhile, Verizon has been edging into the cable and satellite TV markets with their FiOS service. The competitors, Comcast, Time Warner, AT&T, DirecTV and Dish Network have all pushed out video-on-demand services to deliver a wide range of content instantly. With the Redbox acquisition leading to the largest network of rental kiosks, Verizon is seeking to gain as much leverage possible to compete in this growing market segment.
The plan is vague, but they’re claiming a $6 per month subscription for 1 DVD and instant movie streaming, which bests a comparable Netflix offering at $15.98 by more than 50%. Of course Verizon was squeamish on the pricing details, just claiming to seek “right pricing.”
With an initial plan of just $30 million, it’s not clear how their content acquisition will compare with Netflix who spends $1 billion per year on content.
One thing that is certain: we’ll be seeing a lot more red.
Bad news: Netflix burdened with longer DVD window
As if Netflix hasn’t had enough bad news recently, they’re now telling us Warner Bros. has extended the rental window from 28-days to 56-days. This means, instead of waiting a month to rent a new DVD or Blu-ray Disc, you now have to wait almost two months.
Warner Bros., along with many other Hollywood studios, had instituted a 28-day sales-only window for newly released DVDs and Blu-ray Discs in order to encourage disc-sales. Clearly the 28-day window was an homage to Danny Boyle, because sales of movies have not been bolstered by such a stupid plan.
It’s not clear why Netflix is entitled to such a long window as brick-and-mortar renters like Blockbuster (if they’re still into that sort of thing), and Redbox now get the titles a month earlier. Not that this was any different than before, because Netflix usually had long-waiting times for newly released movies anyway due to their demand. From reading the press release, it seems like they might be doing this to give UltraViolet and the Warner-owned Flixster an advantage over Netflix.
Read the press release after the break.
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