The roots of the new offering go back two years, to when Dallas-based Blockbuster bought Film Caddy, which charged $19.95 a month and shipped movies from Arizona. Blockbuster studied Film Caddy for a year - learning, for example, that 40 percent of its customers still visited video stores - then began testing online ordering among employees and consumers.
Blockbuster said it will offer a catalog of 25,000 titles, far more than any one of its stores. Blockbuster stores are stocked from a warehouse in McKinney, Tex. but the company built 10 regional centers to fill online orders and hopes to also tap store stock by next year. [Compared to Netflix's 25 centers--B]
With the new distribution centers, Blockbuster officials said they will fill about half of all orders on a next-day basis, with the rest arriving after two days. [compared to 80% of Netflix discs arriving within one day.--B]
Some analysts think the online-subscription model is just a placeholder until movies are widely rented by downloading them from the Internet.
"We believe video on demand is a very nice upgrade from pay-per-view," said Travis, the Blockbuster president, "but we think video-on-demand being a huge business like rentals is still a long ways off."
I'm trying to keep an open mind. If Blockbuster proves to be the better value, I would convert. I am still a Capitalist.