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Online DVD Rentals

An DVD-sized envelope with a disc emerging. An illustration featuring spotlights over the Hollywood skyline decorates the envelope.

Taking a trip to the video store to rent a movie has become a fond but distant memory for over 10 million people. Despite its primary shortcoming- the delay between ordering a movie and receiving it in the mail- price and convenience are winning American over.

The online DVD rental concept, pioneered by Netflix in 1999, resulted from a culmination of several events. First was America's shift from bulky and heavy video tapes to slim, lightweight and easily shippable DVDs. The second was the rise of the Internet age. The third was a flash of inspiration from Netflix founder Reed Hastings after being frustrated by a yet another late fee at Blockbuster Video.

Many imitators and specialty online DVD rental companies have taken on Netflix, but none were a serious threat until 2007 when Blockbuster's "Total Access™" program began stealing away Netflix customers. With Total Access, Blockbuster customers had the best of both worlds: Unlimited online and in-store DVD rentals for the same price as Netflix.

Blockbuster's momentum didn't last long. In July of 2007, the generous but tremendously expensive (from Blockbuster standpoint) unlimited Total Access plan was re-tooled. They raised the monthly price by $7 (while Netflix lowered the price of their online-only plan by $1). Within 3 months the company lost a half a million customers. And they seemed to be happy about it.

Things are changing quickly in the online DVD rental business. Knowzy will keep you up-to-date with the latest developments, bargains and, of course, lively discussion.


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Get the scoop on the Blockbuster's changes to the Total Access plan- is it still a great deal for you? Ask questions and talk about online rentals on the Feedback page.

Find all of this and more in Knowzy's "Online DVD Rentals" topic.



Originally Published:  Tuesday, August 28, 2007, 5:00 PM PT

Last Updated:  Wednesday, June 1, 2011, 3:13 PM PT

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