Blockbuster Attacks Netflix to Rope in Buyers

While it can only be termed as a desperate move in a cutthroat market, Blockbuster is trying to poach rival Netflix customers by launching a limited-time promotion for latter’s customers who switch to Blockbuster Total Access plan.

“Blockbuster quickly responded to the cries of Netflix customers,” said Michael Kelly, president of Blockbuster. “Blockbuster Total Access is Netflix ‘without the wait.’ The combination of DVDs by mail and unlimited in-store exchanges provides more than 100 million people living near Blockbuster stores immediate convenience and unparalleled choice.”

A couple of days ago, leading Internet subscription service for movies and TV shows Netflix had launched new unlimited DVD-only plans in the U.S. at $7.99 a month for the 1 DVD out at-a-time plan and $11.99 a month for the 2 DVDs out at-a-time plan. It also decided to separate its unlimited streaming and unlimited DVD plans in the U.S. (Read: Netflix to Offer New Unlimited DVD Plans)

While some consumers felt that the new offer of Netflix is costlier than before, the rival movie and game rentals company Blockbuster decided to use the opportunity to its advantage.

Blockbuster claimed that many Netflix customers have voiced their frustration about the Netflix price increase on Twitter by posting “Goodbye Netflix, Hello Blockbuster!”

“We find it shocking that anyone would raise rates as high as 60 percent,” Kelly added. “In contrast, Blockbuster has worked hard over the past few months to deliver value in entertainment to consumers in this economy and has even reduced in-store movie rentals to as low as 49 cents.”

Blockbuster says its Total Access provides benefits Netflix doesn’t offer: availability of many new releases 28 days before Netflix; unlimited in-store exchanges; games for XBOX 360, Playstation3, and Nintendo Wii, and no additional charge for Blu-ray movies.

Netflix customers who switch to one of Blockbuster’s two Total Access plans will receive a 30-day free trial. After the free trial, customers will continue to receive Total Access for a new everyday price of $9.99 per month for “1 Disc” at a time or $14.99 per month for “2 Discs” at a time.

This offer for Netflix customers is available through Sept. 15, 2011, in participating stores and at Blockbuster’s website.

In order to take advantage of this limited-time promotional offer, outraged Netflix subscribers are encouraged to visit or bring in the tear-off from their Netflix mailer to a participating Blockbuster store, says Blockbuster.

Blockbuster L.L.C., a subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation, is a leading global provider of movie and game rentals.

RMN News

Rakesh Raman