Monday, May 02, 2005

Netflix and Wal-Mart and Blockbuster: Oh My!

The above three companies all offer online DVD rentals. Netflix pioneered it, Wal-Mart is so big it has to be involved with everything, and Blockbuster is the rental king, so it couldn't be left out either.

So who is going to win the online race? I'll tell you. I don't know. But I do know how any of the above companies could win it.

I got a movie on Wednesday and shipped it back Thursday morning. Monday morning, FIVE DAYS LATER, Netflix finally receives the movie. If I'm lucky they will ship today, and I will get a replacement on Wednesday again, if not, it will be Thursday before I get my next episode of Sea Lab 2021. I can pay $15 to my local Hollywood video and get three DVDs a day. The only downside there is the selection. They don’t have Sea Lab 2021, nor do they have The Brak Show. What are they thinking?

So, who is going to win the race? The solution is simple, and Blockbuster and Wal-Mart are in the best position to do this. Set up a little kiosk in their store that scans movies. I get a movie in the mail, I watch it, and then, if I choose, I go to the store, scan the movie, drop it in the box. The system automatically sends me my next movie, while my original movie is in transit. No more waiting 5 days for the DVD to travel. The companies would actually save money because they wouldn't have to pay the shipping on the envelope. And of course for those that don't really care for the increased speed, they could still send it back in the mail.

Of course the other alternative is to just send me the movie digitally while I sleep, but the nancy boys in the movie industry are far to chicken to try that approach.


Sylvana said...

That kiosk thing is a very good idea. I might actually sign up for one of those movie things if we could do that. I figured the mail would be slow, so I decided that it wouldn't be worth it for me.

Mary Ann said...

I am really behind on the video watching scene! I cannot wait to be out of school for the summer so I can catch up. I am too impatient to wait for the mail, so I will be visiting my local Hollywood video to rent movies....or just going over to my brother's house since he buys all the good ones anyway!

I am hoping Walmart looses the race (I am a wally-world hater)!