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Netflix and Other Home-Video Vendors [was: DVD-by-Mail]

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Just for all you Canadian people on the board, I just signed up for Zip.ca's free trial last night. I'll update you all once it's been going a few days.

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The Tivo/Netflix partnership is again in the news...

Oct. 01, 2004

TiVo, Netflix in deal to develop digital delivery

In confirming a long-circulating rumor, TiVo and Netflix said Thursday that they will develop technologies for the digital delivery of movies for viewing on consumers' television sets and will jointly work on securing content deals with studios. The movies-on-demand initiative has no name or price yet -- executives won't even say whether it will operate via a subscription model or a la carte service -- though it will be available next year. In a pre-emptive move to squelch concerns of conflicts of interest, TiVo CEO Mike Ramsay has resigned from the Netflix board of directors, a position he has held for several years. In fact, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said, it was the resignation that prompted the firms to announce their partnership several months before a product will be ready. "If we don't put it in context, people might come to the wrong conclusion," Hastings said. Hastings said the companies had discussed a partnership for three years but began a joint-development project a year ago. (Paul Bond)

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Netflix hammered; stock falls 41% on subscription rate cut. Basic 3 film subscription is being cut back from $21.99 a month to $17.99 on the news that Amazon.com may enter the DVD by mail business.

Story here.

Edited by Baal_T'shuvah

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I haven't seen anything about the price change on the Netflix homepage. Is this official?

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There is word that Amazon.com is getting into the DVD rental business. Netflix is suddenly feeling beleaguered. And vulnerable.

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Oops. Thanks Alan. So much for speed-scanning.

Also just noticed your comment about CT's rentals.

And I just noticed that *gulp* Christianity Today is also in this business?

The backend is by an outfit called Mentura, which is private labelling its services for many different outlets (christian and non-Christian): CBD, Family Christian, CT, homeschool.com, and others. They are aggressively licensing new titles (we're dealing with them on some titles).

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No Peter & Paul from us -- we don't own that one. I think that production is actually owned by Procter and Gamble, but I could be mistaken.

Mentura doesn't like to buy DVDs to rent -- they like to license them. That will likely limit what they can get from certain studios, though a surprising number have jumped on board.

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Yes, in some cases (a strong preference for them) they are burned DVDs. (And, yes, we have retail copies of P&P on hand, but we don't license it.)

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NetFlix has lists? Or just their lame 'recommendations' ? I'd love it if either had lists like GreenCine does (or Amazon, for that matter). Speaking of Amazon, I'm surprised they haven't thrown their hat into this ring.

Amazon is joining the mail rental service, starting in the UK. Story here.

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I'll stick with Netflix. With Blockbuster looking at buying Hollywood Video, I'm glad to give my money to the competition.

Link (free registration is required for those in the video industry)

NOV. 11 | In the face of sharp declines in its core over-the-counter rental business, Blockbuster Video has taken steps toward the possible $1 billion purchase of No. 2 video rentailer Hollywood Video, which would give Blockbuster control of well over 50% of the $8 billion-plus video rental market.

If a deal were to happen, it would create a giant chain of nearly 7,000 stores in the U.S. Blockbuster represents 40% to 45% of the video rental market, with Hollywood a distant second at 8% to 10%.

...

"I'm not sure what they'd be buying," McAlpine Associates principal Dennis McAlpine said. "The video rental business is pretty much a store-by-store business. Whether you have 5,000 stores or 6,000 stores, you don't get a lot of economies of scale in terms of operations."

McAlpine also noted that about 25% of Hollywood's 1,900 stores are located adjacent to Blockbuster locations, which could complicate any integration plans.

"I don't know what you would do with those stores," he said. "I think we can assume their landlords aren't going to let them out of those leases. So, do you convert them to Blockbuster locations and then have a Blockbuster next to another Blockbuster? Or do you continue to operate under two brand names?"

Operating under two distinct brand names, however, could allow Blockbuster to expand the number of titles it offers by shifting Hollywood's inventory mix away from its current emphasis on new releases, particularly in those stores located next to Blockbuster outlets.

An expanded retail inventory also would benefit Blockbuster's recently launched online subscription service once it's fully integrated with the store-based inventory.

In a third-quarter earnings conference call, Antioco noted that about 40% of online orders are for titles not typically stocked in Blockbuster or Hollywood stores.

The Hollywood stores also would give Blockbuster another 1,900 distribution points for its online service.

...

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With regard to the above article about Netflix Friends, this would be a great effort for A&F users to consider. If anyone out there is in the beta program and willing to share, let me know!

I'm not yet, but it's an option I can easily take up. Give me a day or so.

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Neat site. It also explains Netflix's new "Profiles" feature, which allows one account to allocate however many DVDs (3-8, depending on your account) to different users in your household.

You can also limit certain users to disks with certain ratings, and it allows you and your spouse to manage your ratings more efficiently, ideally cutting down on those weird recommendations one sometimes gets. You know what I'm talking about.

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I'm sorry that this is terribly offtopic, but Netflix has Failan, which I rewatched tonight. It should be in your various queues, if you haven't seen it.

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Whoa! The "Spiritual Cinema Circle" -- endorsed by Deepak Chopra and Kenny Loggins??

"Film Movement," on the other hand, sounds very promising. I made it out for a few of the Shooting Gallery films distributed theatrically in the 1990s, and they were worthwhile.

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theoddone33:

I'm sorry that this is terribly offtopic, but Netflix has Failan, which I rewatched tonight. It should be in your various queues, if you haven't seen it.

I haven't seen it. It is now in my queue at number 392. So it might be awhile until I actually see it.

biggrin.gif

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I haven't seen it. It is now in my queue at number 392. So it might be awhile until I actually see it.

And I thought my queue was large, at 121. eek.gif

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Whoa! The "Spiritual Cinema Circle" -- endorsed by Deepak Chopra and Kenny Loggins??

And now this:

"The Spiritual Cinema Circle, a DVD club that deals in uplifting and inspiring films, is planning its first foray into film production. The company will produce an adaptation of Neal Donald Walsch's "Conversations With God" and plans to premiere it next year exclusively to its subscribers."

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I'm glad I stumbled on this thread. I've been debating over joining one of these services.

I think I'm leaning towards NetFlix because they lowered their price and they have a distribution center located in Louisville. Blockbuster's closest center to me is in Chicago (or St. Louis - same distance), and I'd rather see a quicker turnaround.

Here's my question: How big are the envelopes that they deliever their DVD's in? I'm living at school, and the mailbox I have is only big enough to hold an envelope about 2-3cm thicker than a standard CD case. It's a disadvantage to get packages, because sometimes I'm at the mercy of the people that work there.

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Netflix DVDs come in thin envelopes (no padding). They're longer than a CD case, but thickness shouldn't be an issue.

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One of the reasons I switched from NetFlix is that my turnaround time kept getting longer, even though I can pretty much SEE their distribution center from my house!

I find my Netflix turnaround time varies. Sometimes I think "Uh-oh, they're stretching the turnaround, just like people said they would," and then the next several DVDs come and go in a day or two. We almost always get movies the day before the projected arrival date. There doesn't seem to be a consistent pattern. Maybe if I kept a log. But I don't care that much.

Am I wrong in thinking that Blockbuster's selection skews more to popular current films? How is their selection of foreign and older/classic movies?

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I'm trying a switch from Netflix to Blockbuster - in moving my queue from one to the other, it looks like there are a handful of films (out of approx. 120) that Blockbuster doesn't carry.

I've heard that B has a much faster turnover time, so we'll see. This, plus the cheaper monthly rate and the 2 in-store coupons a month make it worth a try for me.

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I'm in Austin, TX and have no problems with my Netflix turnover. I usually get my movies on Tuesdays and Fridays.

If I send out three movies on Wed, then I'll get three movies on Friday and then I usually send out those movies on Saturday and then get my next batch on Tuesday.

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Blockbuster's envelopes are a bit smaller.

Clint, the turnaround from a distribution center located at a USPS hub in Chicago might be the same as one in Louisvile (for high-volume mailers). One of the reasons I switched from NetFlix is that my turnaround time kept getting longer, even though I can pretty much SEE their distribution center from my house!

We might have the same thing. So they send yours to Chicago first before it goes to your house? Or am I reading your message wrong?

BTW - I decided to try out Netflix. I started my queue on Thursday, and the first three discs (Hell House, Ikiru, Solaris) arrived today. I'm not sure how the first turnaround time will be (given that Monday - maybe Thursday? - is a federal holiday), but I'm willing to try it out for a month.

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Now available through Netflix... The Adventures of Noah's Park, starring the vocal talent of this A&F member.

Although, you'll notice he doesn't list this project under his IMDb page. How is Pixar ever going to contact you???

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ARGH! CURSES!

Hey, my wife is voice talent on them as well. I'm not alone.

I would list it--except I can't add it if the title isn't on IMDB, which Richard Hayes (the creator) probably hasn't considered doing...

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