I have always been a huge fan of Netflix. What’s not to like about them – get as many DVDs as you can watch delivered by mail for a very reasonable price. Add to that the ability to live stream movies via your PC, specific set-top devices and even some TVs and it is a match made in heaven for any lover of media on DVDs.
Unfortunately as of late, Netflix has been driving me away. I have been courting another DVD rental “lover” and that is Redbox. “What can possibly be the problem,” you might ask? Just look at my current queue of DVDs I’m waiting on.
(right-click & select “view image” for larger version)
Notice that the top 11 selections ALL have either “long wait” or “very long wait” holds on them. In fact “Inglorious Bastards” has been in my queue with “very long wait” for months. What’s the deal Netflix?
Either two things are happening: Netflix has a very limited supply of DVDs on hand and cannot meet the demands of its subscriber base or they are moving more towards live-streaming and will eventually get out of the mail order business. Sadly, I feel it is the latter.
So, I have cut back my “3 at a time” to “2 at a time” and to be honest, if Netflix does not improve its service to their DVD mail-order rental customers, I may move my subscription service to “0 at a time.”
I’m not sure how the “waits” placed on mail-order DVDs operates. The way it should function, at least in my thinking, is the same way as any queue works whether that be standing in a line at the local grocery store or waiting for a customer service rep on the telephone. If I’m 20th in line then after 20 people have rented and returned Netflix’s supply of any particular title, I should get the next one.
Unfortunately I don’t think it works that way but rather when I return a DVD and am eligible for another, if one of my top picks is not in the inventory, I ain’t getting it. That my friend sucks!
Therefore, we have been doing a lot of Redbox as of late, at least for new titles. And I have to say, Netflix’s inability to keep up with demand is only helping this new competitor become a viable threat to them.
How about it, Netflix? Are you listening? I can’t be the only long-time lover who feels jilted as of late. The real question: are you going to do anything about it?
I’ve faced the same challenges with Netflix. I do enjoy the ability to stream movies, but the selection is… well, it’s not the greatest. But at least it’s an option.
As for Redbox, Warner Bros. recently forced them to start delaying new releases for 28 days after their release. It’s likely only a matter of time before other studios follow suit.
David, I came across your blog through Twitter, and although I certainly understand your frustration, I’m not sure how widespread your problem is.
For example, I have 363 items, both new and old, on my Netflix queue, only 9 of which have a wait of any kind (most are short waits). Perhaps this is just a result of a post-Oscar surge?
I’ve never thought that Netflix was the best service for first-run DVD rentals, but for older movies that have slipped through the cracks, I don’t think there’s anything better.
I’ve been using Blockbuster’s mail service ever since it started and love it. The ability to go up to my local store and exchange the mail rental for a new release in store is brilliant. So I have something to watch while I wait for the next movie to come. Of course if there isn’t a store close by, I guess the exchange thing has no appeal. They also don’t charge extra for Blu-Rays which is all I watch now.
I do agree that as far as older media and especially hard-to-find media, Netflix is a winner. I watch a lot of concert DVDs which you would never find in a Redbox or Blockbuster.
I’m in California, just added Inglorious Basterds and it’s ‘available now’. Since I rec’d a Christmas gift for six months service I’ve never seen any title listed that wasn’t available now.
David, I have enjoyed the live streaming more and more, but have not really experienced the long wait times. I am not a serious movie buff, but have had pretty ok luck.
Thanks for the heads up. I was considering Netflix but will stick with Redbox or go to streaming or something else.
I can’t say I agree David. I cut my Netflix back to one at a time simply because of all the streaming they offer. I have the same problem with a lot of first run movies being “long wait”. I stopped long ago timing my mailings to make sure I got those mailed to me on the release date. Now I don’t care. In fact, I’m happy to wait on a lot of stuff until it becomes available to stream.
Of course, I do make the occasional run to redbox to use a free-movie code… which is almost always.
We are BIG fans of Redbox. Never tried netflix because is seemed too much of a hassle to do the mailings.
I find it hilarious that your rant against Netflix, which is probably due to too many members has an adsense ad top join Netflix at the top. 😉 Maybe you should black them as an advertiser to help your cause.
Maybe your wait times may have something to do with the nearest distribution point and the traffic through there. The only waits I’ve ever had have been because the movies haven’t been released yet.
Redbox and Netflix are different animals. How many of those new titles have you been able to get when you wanted with Redbox? I don’t use Redbox anymore because I’ve never been able to get the high demand DVDs at any local Redbox.
The reason Netflix works and has millions of subscribers is one of the reasons Blockbuster failed… people are willing to wait to have their DVDs delivered to their mailbox. As I said, that’s just ONE reason. There are many reasons that consumers got sick of Blockbuster (which is why their Netflix service is also failing).
Redbox has it niche, but it’s not going to be something that’s going to be able to match Netflix, especially as more and more people are moving towards on-demand streaming, rather than the DVD/Blu-Ray. That is the future, embrace… it’s inevitable.
Much prefer Pirate Bay to either of those places.
Films available when you want them (and in some cases well before they’re available elsewhere)
Pirate Bays commercial practices are second to none.