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"Blockbuster said it would allow its online customers to return mail-order rentals to Blockbuster stores. And online customers who do not want to wait for a new release to arrive by mail may be able to exchange one of their online rentals for that title at the store and pay nothing."



this bites.... you mean you can't be like the IC and say that your dvd has been mailed already and send it a week later?

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  • 2 years later...

Found in Neverender's journal, thought I would share.




Wal-Mart, Netflix in DVD alliance


Walmart.com shuts down its online rental service, offers customers a link to rival program.

May 19, 2005: 1:14 PM EDT


NETFLIX?? DVD Rental -Only $9.99

DVD Rental from NETFLIX??. Official Site. Free Trial. Over 40,000 titles, fast...



Wal-Mart Online DVD Rentals

Rent unlimited DVD's and keep them as long as you want with no due dates. Only...



Blockbuster DVD Rental $14.99/Month

Blockbuster just lowered their online DVD rental price to $14.99/month. Plus you...




DVD rental wars 

Blockbuster will test an $18 unlimited rental plan. The move is seen as a forsaking of plans to undercut online rival Netflix. (Full story)




LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Netflix Inc., the online DVD rental company, and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Thursday they have struck a deal to co-promote DVD sales and rentals, with Wal-Mart shutting down its online rental service to concentrate on DVD sales.


Shares of Netflix (Research) jumped 30 percent in premarket trade from a close of $15.50 on Wednesday on the Nasdaq.


Under the agreement, Netflix will promote Wal-Mart (Research) DVD sales to its 3 million subscribers, and Wal-Mart will offer its online customers the opportunity to sign up with Netflix at their current subscription price for a year.


Wal-Mart is the world's largest DVD retailer, and Netflix is the world's largest online DVD rental service.


Wal-Mart Online, in an advertisement that appeared early Thursday on its Web site, said the company will not accept new members and offered a link to Netflix, where Walmart.com customers can sign up for the DVD rental service at their existing Wal-Mart rates for one year.


The Wal-Mart Web ad also provided a link to allow its subscribers to transfer their services, including request lists for specific DVDs, to Netflix.


Netflix will promote Wal-Mart's online DVD rental business both online and in mailers sent to its subscribers.


The partnership radically changes the competitive landscape for the nascent online DVD rental industry pioneered by Netflix, which more recently has been struggling to compete against larger rivals such as Wal-Mart and Blockbuster Inc.


Online retail giant Amazon.com Inc. (Research), which launched an online DVD rental service in Britain last year, has also been expected to enter the U.S. rental market.


Wal-Mart launched its online DVD rental service in late 2002, but it never promoted the service heavily. Its departure from the fast-growing online rental industry leaves only Netflix and Blockbuster, which has reported having more than 750,000 subscribers.


The two companies have been locked in an expensive price war since last fall, when Blockbuster launched its online service and twice undercut Netflix's subscription price.


The partnership of Wal-Mart and Netflix could discourage Amazon from bringing its U.K.-based online rental service to the United States.


Netflix will take over Wal-Mart's online service, allowing its customers to pay the $12.97 per month guaranteed by Wal-Mart for 12 months, the companies said.


The number of Wal-Mart subscribers were not disclosed. Netflix has previously said it would reach 4 million subscribers by the end of 2005. 

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  • 5 years later...
Netflix Is Abandoning DVDs, Customers Who Prefer DVDs

by: Tim Grierson

When Netflix started up more than 10 years ago, its sales pitch was pretty simple: Hey, subscribe to us, and we'll mail you DVDs that you can then mail back to us without worrying about any late fees. But as the rental market moves toward online and on-demand models, Netflix's iconic red envelopes may eventually become as antiquated as VHS tapes. Beefing up their streaming business, Netflix has predicted that in about two years their economics will be geared more toward their "Watch Instantly" service than through physical discs. For that to happen, Netflix will have to nudge their DVD-loyal customers to the new platform. And on Monday, the company learned just how hard that may be.


In a seemingly innocent 109-word blog post, Netflix director of product management Jamie Odell announced, "We're removing the 'Add to DVD Queue' option from streaming devices," suggesting that it was being done so that the company "can concentrate on offering you the titles that are available to watch instantly." Granted, the Netflix website still allows DVD queue updating, but this post, dropped on the morning of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, created an immediate firestorm of comments -- most of them very, very angry.


"Clearly Netflix wants to send less discs through the mail, and therefore wants to make it more difficult for the user to add to their queue in furtherance of that," wrote "Eldendor." "Horrible idea!" wrote "usrbingeek." "Especially when there are still few titles available for streaming and the titles that you do have, seem to have very narrow license windows." On and on came the complaints, with most responders saying essentially (1) I like having access to DVDs even if I use a PS3 or mobile phone to stream movies on Netflix; and (2) there aren't enough good titles available on "Watch Instantly." "I think this is a totally foolish move on your part. I like to be able to add movies to my DVD queue from my iPhone," commented "b.dsign." "f this means that netflix is going to add more movies to watch instantly i support the change," "Beto" wrote, "but if they are not, then it's just a bad idea."


As of yet Netflix hasn't released any response, which, really, is their response. Whether customers like or not, Netflix knows that the future is moving away from physical discs and toward instant access. And, really, none of us who use Netflix should be surprised: Back in November the company announced that they were offering a new lower subscription rate for streaming-only customers while increasing the rate for people who still wanted DVDs. Right now, if you want DVDs from Netflix, the company is less than thrilled with you: They need you to get used to the idea of streaming films and TV shows so that you'll drop the physical disc habit: a craving, ironically, that they themselves created thanks to the ease of their iconic red envelopes.


But while Netflix is slowly discouraging the continued interest in DVDs, they face a different challenge even if their business model transformation succeeds. As Slate reported, if Netflix's streaming business takes off the way they think it will, it could prove a serious drain on America's broadband capacity, which is far less nimble than other countries'. Netflix is angering customers right now because the company wants to do away with DVDs: We don't even want to think of a future where Netflix angers the entire Internet community because too many people are streaming old episodes of "Friends" at the same time.


Didn't see a Netflix thread.

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yeah, i assume we had a thread in the day? lotta users here, myself years back. huh.


by removing "add to queue" from streaming devices, can you still do so from logging into their website? also, given how much they save on not having to ship, it makes a lotta sense to steer people onto a streaming plan at a discounted rate.

and yeah, them putting more of their catalog into their servers is first priority...figuring out how to help ameirca stop sucking at online speed vs other countries is next, as the article points out.

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You will still be able to Queue from the web.


Until they can have the availability to stream almost their entire library online, they can't do it...I have at least 500 DVDs queued on my account and I think maybe 100 of them are available for instant watch...not convenient for me...

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No idea, I don't use Netflix. Kinda hoping pissed users will use local rental places more.

feel the same here. I stream Netflix myself, but I find myself going to stores to rent/buy stuff anyway, esp new stuff. I don't really like using Netflix (and I refuse to support Redbox). really hard not to though. still, i like having a physical copy of something whether its games, movies, books etc.

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Nothing, I just don't like it lol


Edit: Reason I don't though is cause I like interacting with folks with common interests. I know by renting redbox, I'm giving someone a job somewhere, but I don't really know who that someone is. I'll go to the store and use self checkout all day, no problem, but I can relate to these people in the video stores working there. Bit of a double standard I admit, but that's my feeling on it :p

Edited by axel_napalm
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  • 7 months later...



Netflix splits streaming and DVD by mail service; latter to be called "Qwikster"


So we realized that streaming and DVD by mail are becoming two quite different businesses, with very different cost structures, different benefits that need to be marketed differently, and we need to let each grow and operate independently. It’s hard for me to write this after over 10 years of mailing DVDs with pride, but we think it is necessary and best: In a few weeks, we will rename our DVD by mail service to “Qwikster”.


<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody><tr> <td class="quotearea">

Qwikster will be the same website and DVD service that everyone is used to. It is just a new name, and DVD members will go to qwikster.com to access their DVD queues and choose movies. One improvement we will make at launch is to add a video games upgrade option, similar to our upgrade option for Blu-ray, for those who want to rent Wii, PS3 and Xbox 360 games. Members have been asking for video games for many years, and now that DVD by mail has its own team, we are finally getting it done
</td> </tr> </tbody></table>


There are no pricing changes (we’re done with that!). Members who subscribe to both services will have two entries on their credit card statements, one for Qwikster and one for Netflix. The total will be the same as the current charges.

...holy shit, i know they've talked about gaming for a bit, but if this finally goes down...i'm back with Gamefly at the moment & mostly happy, but the rates for 1 game out at a time ($17/month) could be a bit more competitive, though i do like their prices for keeping games most times. can't wait to see how this pans out.



central to the thread: this is looking to go pretty much how I & logan were talking about digital comics; with Starz leaving Netflix next year (peace, Party Down, gonna miss you), this could spiral into being more & more fragmented. such a shame, DD will really take off when this shit's ironed out, i think.

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whoah, whoah, whoah.


Qwikster, Rent Movies, TV Shows, and Video Games for only $7.99 a month.


...that's like half the price im paying Gamefly right now. i know they're adding some PC/onlive shit but they'd better make movies if they wanna keep me on board. godforbid either of them adds import titles....

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