Friday, September 30, 2005

Imitation of Life (1959)

I requested Douglas Sirk's Imitation of Life (1959) from Blockbuster Online. I received it from the Blockbuster store in Havelock, NC. I scanned it and posted about it, because I hadn't seen one from that store before. Silly me, I left the envelope, with the disc inside, in the scanner. Days later, when I couldn't find it around the house, I assumed I hadn't received it, so I reported to Blockbuster that it was missing! (I was having a blonde-hair day. I'm sorry). Anyhow, they shipped it once again from another Blockbuster store, this time in Statesville, NC. In my experience, it's unusual to get a movie from a store, and not a distribution center, let alone the same title twice in a row. This got me thinking "why?"

This movie is probably out of print. It was released on DVD in 2003. As with book publishing, I'm guessing that DVDs are printed in "runs" of a fixed number of copies. They sell that amount to retailers and distributors like Netflix and Blockbuster. If they don't rent or sell fast enough, then the studio quits making them. When those original discs wear out, break, or get stolen, they are gone forever, unless the studio decides to do another print-run.

This would explain why Netflix doesn't rent titles that are available elsewhere, like Amazon. If it's available at Amazon, it's at a price too high for Netflix to pay. If Netflix did scramble around, trying to buy up every single copy of every out-of-print title, they would drive prices even higher. There is no financial incentive, and too great a financial risk, for Netflix to supply expensive titles. Such titles have the same risk of being lost, broken, or stolen, as every other title, except they cost 10 times as much. (Nicheflix solved this problem by giving these titles special handling, via their a la carte option).

I'm guessing that Blockbuster stores still have copies of these classic titles that are no longer being printed, the same way your local library is full of out-of-print books. Blockbuster Online can't obtain any more new copies, but they can "borrow" them from their bricks and mortar stores, which is my theory as to why both copies of Imitation of Life came from stores in NC.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Nicheflix a la carte

This, to me, is thrilling news. My favorite non-Netflix online DVD rental service, Nicheflix, is now offering an a la carte option. I use Nicheflix for non-Region 1 or PAL titles which aren't available any other way in the U.S. These titles can be very rare and expensive. Sometimes studios will release a title overseas which they won't distribute in North America, for various reasons. Nicheflix imports these and rents them, but you need a multi-region DVD player to play them.

The a la carte option allows you to rent individual discs without a subscription. The rental period is seven (7) days from the date of arrival. Shipping is extra. They are shipped via USPS with delivery confirmation both ways.

They also have a subscription option similar to Netflix's.

James Rocchi's New Blog

As Mike reported, James Rocchi is working his notice at Netflix. Can you say ex-netflix three times fast? Here's his new civilian blog.

RentCaddy DVD Organizer

RentCaddy DVD Organizer
Originally uploaded by Matthom.
Netflixfan reader Matthom bought himself one and he likes it.

P.S. I'm not making anything off the sales of these things, nor have I been compensated for posting about them. I'm just a fan of entrepreneurialism.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005


Many DVD fans might walk away from purchasing's Warner Classics Mega Collection. But Warner Home Video is sure the $3,999-priced set is a steal.

At this point, is the primary seller of the package, which holds 237 classic Warner films spanning 1929-70. But Warner is offering the product, streeting Nov. 22, to any interested retailer. is selling the set for a relative bargain, at $1,999. Via DVD Exclusive

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The 64 Second Film Contest

The contest begins in October and the top 25 finalists will be determined by popular vote:

Netflix in PubSub top 1000 is #359 on the PubSub top 1000 as of September 25. I couldn't find Amazon, Blockbuster, or Greencine anywhere on the list.

Here are the rankings for

30-Day Rank: 1,123.67 (top 1.87%)
15-Day Rank: 973.00 (top 1.73%)
Current Rank: 593 (top 1%)
The PubSub LinkRanks 1000 is a list of the most consistently influential sites that publish feeds, based on their average LinkRank scores over the past 30 days. To create this list, we've averaged the daily LinkRanks of over 16 million sources. We've also included a 15-day average as well as each site's current LinkRank as additional points of comparison.

LinkRanks is PubSub's method of measuring the strength, persistence, and vitality of links appearing in over 16 million sources that PubSub monitors.

PubSub uses LinkRanks to help users hone their subscriptions. LinkRanks can also tell you how influential a particular site is on a particular day and over time.

You gotta have Friends

Justin needs Netflix Friends. Can you help him out?

Invite him using justin dot baeder at gmail dot com

Netflix is great source for Personal Development DVDs

Steve Pavlina blogged this:
"When we first signed up for this service, we were only thinking of it for entertainment, as a replacement for occasional local movie rentals. But after browsing Netflix's special interest section, I found a variety of personal development and educational DVDs, including ones by Deepak Chopra, Suze Orman, Carolyn Myss, Eckhart Tolle, and Dr. Wayne Dyer. I watched three Suze Orman DVDs just in the past week. So I can recommend this service as an affordable way to immerse yourself in personal development material. It's a lot cheaper and more convenient than going to seminars."

Monday, September 26, 2005

New Netflix drop point in Wichita, KS

Dropping in

If you're a Netflix subscriber you may have noticed a Wichita postmark on recent movies delivered to your house.

That's because the California-based company that mails movie rentals now has a local drop point.

'The drop point speeds it up a little bit,' says Steve Swasey, director of corporate communications.

You probably won't notice that much of a difference, though. Swasey says a Netflix distribution center that opened in Kansas City, Mo., in March 2004 has made the difference in getting movies sent faster.

Free Month of Blockbuster Online

Hello Becky,

We're making it easier than ever for you to share the convenience of BLOCKBUSTER Online™ with others. For a limited time, you can treat your friends and family to one FREE MONTH of service!

Pass along the special Promotional Code word "friends" to anyone you wish.

When they visit, sign up for membership and enter the word "friends" into the Promotional Code field, they will receive their first month of service FREE.

OR, forward this e-mail so your friends and family can directly access this special offer here:


Sign up, enter the code, get great home entertainment FREE for one month. It's just that simple!

Thanks for spreading the word!

Your Friends at BLOCKBUSTER Online

Critics' Picks on Netflix

James Rocchi may be leaving Netflix, but we will not be without choices.

Netflix: Critics' Picks allows you to browse Netflix for movies that received a 3-star rating or higher from top critics Roger Ebert and Leonard Maltin, publications like the New York Times and TV Guide, and online review sites Film Threat and Apollo Guide, without ever leaving the Netflix site.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Found on eBay: Rentcaddy ORGANIZER for Netflix, Blockbuster Online

eBay: Rentcaddy ORGANIZER for Netflix, Blockbuster Online (item 6434900078 end time Sep-26-05 21:45:52 PDT):
the Original, Patent-Pending Online Rental Organizer!
Perfect for Netflix, Blockbuster Online, GameFly

Where do you keep your rentals?
Store up to 8 discs, info sleeves, and return envelopes
No more return envelopes cluttering your entertainment center!
Prevent misplaced, damaged, and lost rentals
Durahyde material keeps your rentals safe
Easily return discs from the road when you travel!
The best way to present a gift subscription!"

Reed Hastings will be at Web 2.0 Conference 2005

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings will be part of a panel on "The Future of Entertainment" at the Web 2.0 Conference, "the second generation Internet business conference that brings together leading Internet industry figures and companies to focus on innovation and technology developments spanning the Internet, communication and entertainment industries. The 2005 Web 2.0 Conference will take place October 5-7 at the Argent Hotel in San Francisco."

Via Businesswire

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Fast Company Cover Story on Netflix

Hacking NetFlix got tipped off to the cover story on Netflix in FastCompany magazine, for winning the "Customers First Award." It's an educational article, which Mike calls a "must-read."

Here are the highlights that I found interesting:

"Warehouse workers--those closest to the customer--get free Netflix subscriptions and DVD players in order to understand what customers go through when Finding Nemo doesn't arrive in time for their kid's birthday party."

"Hastings brags that during Netflix's early days, it had 115,000 customers and 100 support reps. Today, the company has 3.2 million customers; their questions are handled by just 43 reps."

"That ratio is impressive, to be sure, but the fact that Netflix's customer-support number is deeply buried on the site certainly keeps those numbers down. (Can't find it? It's 888-NETFLIX.) That's one of a few glaring flaws in Netflix's experience--having to dig for a company's phone number on its Web site feels so 1997. Hastings doesn't agree. "It hits the right balance of customer satisfaction and cost," he says. "

"Another problem for Netflix is its relationship with high-volume renters. These highly vocal customers, who aren't profitable for Netflix, believe the company is intentionally slowing down the pace at which it sends them movies, a practice these users call "throttling." Hastings says these film buffs do get lower priority than low-volume members if Netflix is in short supply of a DVD or if one of the warehouses gets overwhelmed with demand. But he denies any other penalizing of these members. "We're not saying they're bad because they watch a lot of movies," says Hastings. "God bless them, that's fine. But if we run short, it makes more sense to give it to the people [who haven't watched as many]."

Netflix James Bond Survey Results

Hacking NetFlix reported that "Netflix issued a press release to announce that a a survey of 1,000 subscribers selected Hugh Jackman over Clive Owen as the next James Bond."

I think Netflix could have surveyed a lot more than 1000 people, but why did they do the survey at all? Who cares? This survey has nothing to do with renting movies. Possible reasons: it could be a gimmick to raise their profile in the entertainment world, since it's been a slow news week. It is also a demonstration of how they can use their customers.

No more late fees at Blockbuster? We've got video. With sound.

This hilarious video reveals once and for all whether Blockbuster still has late fees.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Peerflix Launches Peer-To-Peer DVD

InformationWeek magazine is reporting that Peerflix, after spending a year in Beta, has officially launched its peer-to-peer DVD trading service online. Their article focuses mainly on the potential copyright issues related to trading DVD's, which some fear will facilitate illegal copying.

InformationWeek also says that Peerflix "currently holds some 65,000 titles", but that's impossible. There aren't that many titles currently on DVD. According to this Reuters article, Peerflix has 65,000 DVD's, but only 25% of those are unique titles.

According to Reuters,"The Peerflix site clocked 10,000 trades in August and is set to nearly double that in September."

Why Netflix is the best way to get TV shows on DVD

It could take a long time to watch a whole season of your favorite TV show on DVD. If they put six episodes of one half-hour sitcom on one disc, that's three hours of TV. If you rent it from a store, you might have to return it in three days. If you buy it, you might have to plunk down $50 for the whole boxed set. With Netflix, you can queue up all the seasons in order and watch them at your leisure, not worrying about returning them any time soon, and not losing track of what you've seen or not seen. For a TV show you've never seen, you don't want to buy the boxed set before you discover you can't stand the show.

Via Video Business Online

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Access Netflix via your T-Mobile Sidekick II


Telling You What You Like

This Los Angeles Times article regarding recommendations has a quote from Mike Kaltschnee, author of the Hacking Netflix blog.:

Online movie rental company Netflix Inc., for example, lets its customers write movie reviews. Netflix subscribers also can invite one another to become "friends" and make movie recommendations, peek at one another's rental lists and see how other subscribers have rated other movies.

Combining all these tools has helped make Netflix recommendations more in tune with subscribers' tastes, said Neil Hunt, Netflix's chief engineer.

To gauge how well Netflix does, the company compared how well customers liked the recommended movies with how well they liked movies that were picked from a list of recent releases, many of which were heavily marketed upon their release on DVD. On a five-star scale, movies recommended by Netflix scored half a star higher.

"If you spend $50 to $100 million promoting a movie, you can persuade a lot of people to watch it," Hunt said. "But if a movie stands on its own merit and matches an individual's tastes, they may enjoy it a lot more."

"This is really powerful," said Netflix subscriber Mike Kaltschnee, a 40-year-old vice president for a stock photo agency in Danbury, Conn. "There are 45,000 movies in the Netflix collection. This helps me find the good ones. Before, my taste was limited to what I happened to see at the local rental store. Now I rent foreign films, like 'Whale Rider.' I never would have rented that before. Not in a million years."

Is your queue getting shorter?

Since I last reported my queue stats in May 2005, my main queue has gone down from 315 to 271. I've switched from the 8-out to the 3-out (because of Summer).

343--Number of movies I've rented from Netflix since I joined in January 2004
271--Number of movies in main queue
3--Number of movies I have out (on the 3-out plan)
7--Number of movies in "Saved" queue
2--Number of movies with a release date in queue
24--Number of movies I've rented in the last 3 months
0--Number of movies labeled "Very Long Wait and Out of Print”
0--Number of movies labeled "Very Long Wait"
0--Number of movies labeled "Long Wait"
7--Number of movies labeled "Short Wait"
0--Number of movies in the queue that are actually television shows on DVD
4--Number of movies in the queue that I've already seen
2--Number of movies I feel are categorized wrongly
5--Average number of times I check the queue per week

I've been very good not to add anything to my queue unless it was in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. If I want to cheat and see something not in the book, I use Blockbuster :).

Monday, September 19, 2005

Netflix Party

Georgia, who is Not A Domestic Diva, has a great idea:

"Netflix has changed our life. Not only do we get to rent all kinds of foreign films we'd usually have a hard time finding, but we can also rent whole seasons of our favorite shows (and share them with our friends). So for the most relaxed weekend party you can think of, pick a show everyone's been wanting to see (like the first season of The Wire or Entourage), buy some bottles of wine and some good snacks, and lounge in the air conditioning while you're waiting out the heat wave of this Indian Summer."

Blockbuster store in Havelock, NC

I live in Greensboro, NC, so my Blockbuster Online DVDs usually come from their distribution center in Charlotte, NC. Last week, I received a movie which apparently was shipped from the Blockbuster store in Havelock, NC, which is near the North Carolina coast. Telltale signs, besides the address, are the two .37 postage stamps, and the little stickers holding the envelope closed on each side, preventing the flap from being torn off (a chronic problem with BBO envelopes). They are losing money on postage if they don't get to use the bulk mail pre-sorted discount.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Reed Hastings' predictions

I watched this interview with Reed Hastings on Business Week online from August 19. In it, Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix, says the threat of entering the online DVD rental market in the U.S. is diminishing as time goes by, because they're not having big success in the U.K. where they've been operating an online DVD rental business since last year. Hastings says Amazon is 4th in the U.K., behind Video Island, Lovefilm, and Blockbuster, and their DVD rental business is only $5 million out of $8 billion total for the company, so Amazon is not focusing on it very much.

Hastings also says HD-DVD will extend the life of DVD by about 5 years.

He intends for Netflix to be a leader in the VOD business, which will start out very small until more content comes available.

He intends for Netflix to change the movie distribution business, but in order to have the power to do that, Netflix must have enough subscribers (10-20 million).

By "change the movie distribution business," I think he means turning it into video-on-demand.

Click here for the Real Player feed of the 13-minute interview.

New Netflix "drop point" in Springfield, IL speeds Midwest turnaround times

Via Springfield Journal-Register:

"It's not exactly a matter of national security that 'National Security' might move faster from your Netflix queue to your Springfield-area mailbox.

But the company that rents DVDs by mail isn't talking too much about why some labels reading 'Nearest shipping facility' have 'Springfield, IL' written on them.

It's what Steve Swasey, director of Netflix's corporate communications, calls a 'competitive advantage' over rivals such as Green-Cine and Blockbuster. All Swasey could say is that Springfield is a new 'drop point' for DVDs, in that they're sent here from the closest distribution center, in St. Louis.

'That ensures that we can get the DVDs to subscribers within a day, and nobody else does that,' Swasey says."

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Blockbuster probing online video-on-demand

Via the Miami Herald:
Blockbuster demonstrated an online video service at a trade show in Europe last week and has completed a test involving 5,000 British households, but officials downplay talk of service in the very near future.
Netflix will be testing video-on-demand using set-top boxes this year.
Netflix's test of video-on-demand this year will be "very modest," said spokesman Steve Swasey.

"It will be limited mostly by content for the reason that the studios are not licensing that many titles for electronic delivery," Swasey said.

Studios typically earn only $1 or $2 from each movie rental but can make $12 or more from each DVD sale, giving them a short-term incentive against supplying recent movies to video-on-demand services.
Read more

Free Month of Netflix Promo

Thanks to Dan, who posted this Netflix one month free trial promo link on this Livejournal blog. This is a great opportunity for you fence-sitters out there. One month is plenty of time for your to rent 10-20 discs and see how fast (or slow) the turnaround is in your area.

You must register for a completely new Netflix account to take advantage of this one month trial offer (longer than the normal two week trial), which requires a credit or debit card or bank account. Netflix will automatically bill you for the next month as soon as the first month is over, so to avoid being billed, you must cancel the day before the trial is up. If you've ever had a Netflix account before, you're not eligible. This link will probably stop working in a couple of weeks. It was originally posted September 14.

UPDATE: I saw the original email the promo came in. The promo link definitely stops working on September 28, and they specify that it is a "limited quantity" offer.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Netflix-sponsored poker

From December 2004, via "Stakes were high last month when mediabistro doubled up (or was it down?) with Netflix to help put on a Texas Hold 'Em poker tournament that pitted men's magazine editors against their underlings and each other."

The fellow in black and red is Netflix film critic James Rocchi. has more photos of the Netflix poker tables. I want one!

Netflix hooks up with Cinequest film festival to distribute films

Via the San Jose Mercury News:

"Starting today, people can rent or buy some of the independent movies that debut during San Jose's annual Cinequest Film Festival.

Cinequest, the non-profit film institute, is going into the new line of business of producing DVDs, focusing on independent movies. The films produced by Cinequest DVD, the group's new video production wing, will be available for rent through Netflix, the Los Gatos online mail-order movie-rental service.

The move is an attempt by both Cinequest and Netflix to tap into what seems to be a growing market nationwide for independent films. Netflix has agreed to buy all DVDs produced by Cinequest, said Cinequest spokesman Jens Michael Hussey."

Read more

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Netflix helps revive TV serials


"I think the business of TV is changing . . . and that serialized shows make more economic sense, one being 24," said Josh Pate, executive producer of the don't-go-near-the-water drama Surface. "What's really driving the networks' openness to this type of storytelling is that DVD sales on the back end can make it a viable financial model."

They're saying that we are beginning to see more TV shows with stories that stretch over an entire season, because they know you can rent it from Netflix or buy it. If the ratings aren't that good, they'll make their money back from the DVD sales. People don't have to be tied to the TV each week in order for the show to be successful.

"The idea of the serial is not a new thing -- it's a cyclical thing," added Paul Scheuring, another Prison Break producer. "And with the advent of TiVo and DVDs, there's a new culture going on, where people want to get the box set and watch four, five, six episodes one after another. It's like reading a novel."

Read more


Jennifer Netherby has written a great article for DVD Exclusive Online in response to the Netflix investor Webcast which took place last week. The article basically says that Netflix is too big to be defeated now, and although Blockbuster will grow, it will never catch up.

"'[Netflix has] reached the stage of critical mass where nobody's going to get rid of them, nobody's going to come in and make them obsolete,' analyst Dennis McAlpine of McAlpine and Associates said."

"Tom Adams, president of Adams Media Research, said he expects Blockbuster will continue to grow its business and narrow the subscriber gap with Netflix because of its ability to ship from stores and its strong consumer presence. But he believes Netflix will be able to maintain its lead."

"There's a tradition of what's called the first mover advantage, and so there was little reason to think that Blockbuster was simply going to overwhelm them," Adams said. "[Netflix] got that advantage by not just being first but by being very good."

Read more

Monday, September 12, 2005

Blockbuster and Netflix waive returns and fees for Gulf Coast members

Via Video Business online [sub req'd]:

"Blockbuster has opened 27 locations, with 34 company-owned stores and four franchisees still closed in Louisiana and Mississippi. A spokesperson said that Katrina-hit customers will not be charged for any checked-out, lost or damaged product.

Netflix is sending e-mails to Gulf Coast members informing them that they are likewise not responsible for returning copies. The online service is writing them off as lost. Netflix customers who fell victim to Katrina also are being told their monthly sub fees for August and September are being waived."

New technology combines DVD and CD in one disc

"'DVCD allows buyers to listen to CD content included within the DVD just as if they had an actual CD inserted into their computer. The product includes SunnComm's SecureBurn(TM), which allows users to legally burn a protected and enhanced music CD on their PC or Mac directly from a menu included on their DVD. Consumers can also choose to transfer the CD content to compliant portable digital devices. "

Read more

Muslim Dork drinks Chai and watches Netflix

Via Inside Bay

"At the age of 24, Ali is an author, a law student, a Netflix junkie, a Muslim, a Pakistani and a playwright."

"'I'm kind of a dork,' he says. 'I drink chai and watch Netflix (movies).' "

"I'm a practicing Muslim who does not strap a bomb to myself," Ali joked, then added, "Religion has had a profound impact on me. Islam gave me the means and an avenue to funnel my energy."

You can read more about the play he's written here.

The Miracle of Morgan's Creek

Netflix now has The Miracle of Morgan's Creek, a "classic slapstick farce," available to rent on DVD. I have seen this movie on VHS and enjoyed it very much. It is on many top lists, including the AFI 400, the New York Times 1000 Best Movies Ever Made, and Leonard Maltin's 100 Must-See Films of the 20th Century.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Voting with your queue

Have you ever wondered if it's worthwhile to use the green button in Netflix, to save a title to your queue, even before it has a release date? Well, it turns out, it's very important for you to do so. According to this article , "Netflix informs studios which of its 50,000 titles its 3.2 million subscribers put in their 'queues,' to be mailed when the product comes out. "

Using this information, the studios know how great the demand for a title is, and based on that, they determine how many DVDs to make.

"By placing real orders for material they want to buy or rent, consumers are voting with their pocketbooks, industry analysts say."

Your queue, and Amazon's pre-sale list, says Michael Arkin, senior vice president of marketing for Paramount Home Entertainment, "are opinion polls of a sort, earpieces into buyers' tastes. It's a way of taking the pulse of the public, checking it on a daily basis."

You actually influence how many copies of new releases Netflix will have, by saving titles to your queue before the movie is released.

The Netflix Workout

My friend Jim has started a new blog, called Lean and Hungry Fitness. I must admit, I don't like the "hungry" part, but lean is good. He used The Netflix Workout to lose the first 20 pounds. I love anything that provides an excuse to watch Netflix!

Top 50 Cult Films

One of the sources for rare movies is Five Minutes To Live. They have an interesting list of Top 50 Cult Films. Most of them are unavailable through Netflix or any other traditional source.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Netflix Announces Analyst Day Webcast

LOS GATOS, Calif., Sept. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Netflix, Inc. Nasdaq: NFLX) will be webcasting its Analyst Day presentations on September 8, 2005. The live webcast can be accessed at the investor relations page of the Netflix web site at . An archive of the webcast will be available within 24 hours of the end of the event.

The event will begin at approximately 8:00 a.m. Pacific Time with a keynote presentation by Reed Hastings, Netflix's chief executive officer and co-founder, and will include presentations from the Netflix senior management team. The presentations will conclude at approximately 12:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

Netflix is the world's largest online movie rental service, providing more than three million subscribers access to over 50,000 DVD titles. Under the company's most popular program, for $17.99 a month, Netflix subscribers rent as many DVDs as they want and keep them as long as they want, with three movies out at a time. There are no due dates, no late fees and no shipping fees. DVDs are delivered for free by the USPS from regional shipping centers located throughout the United States. Netflix can reach nearly 90 percent of its subscribers with generally one business-day delivery. Netflix offers personalized movie recommendations to its members and has more than 500 million movie ratings. Netflix also allows members to share and recommend movies to one another through its Friends(TM) feature. For more information, visit

Dashflix mini widget

The mini version of the popular Dashflix widget for Mac OS X 10.4 or later allows you to view your Netflix queue at a glance. Its author says, "If you’re like me, you are both obsessive and a Netflix customer. This combination leads to constantly double-checking what’s in your queue and what has been shipped to you. Now you can engage in this psychotic behavior from the comfort of your own desktop!

The Dashflix mini widget gives you a list of your “At Home” movies, complete with estimated delivery dates. Flip it over, and you’ll see all the movies in your queue. Click on any movie to bring up Netflix’s summary of the film in question."

Download it for free from Apple.

Save gas

...sign up for Netflix, Greencine, Nicheflix, or even (gasp!) Blockbuster Online. buys VHQ Online

Canada's largest source for online DVD rentals has purchased the assets of its nearest competitor - VHQ Online - in an effort to increase its Canadian marketshare.

Ottawa-based, which recently struck a deal to handle Rogers Vido online rental service, currently rents out about 15,000 discs per day.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed, however, chief executive officer Rick Anderson told the Globe and Mail that the acquisition of VHQ's on-line DVD rental business gives Zip an inventory of 220,000 discs which he says is more than twice the size of any other firm in the country.

According to, a website that monitors DVD rental companies there are over ten firms that specialize in online DVD rental with Zip being far and away the largest. You can find a complete list of the companies that specialize in online DVD rentals at the site.

Via Digital Home Canada

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Amateur Netflix ad

Netflix 1
Originally uploaded by whitleyrr.
whitleyrr says "Netflix is having their customers do their marketing for them in exchange for a free month's service. So this is the one I took of Jeff for him to submit. Obviously, we doctored it a bit."

See more ads here.

Albany, NY has Netflix distribution center

Kevin has noticed a new Netflix distribution center in Albany, NY.

He's also looking for Netflix Friends.

Breaking the Waves

After being "release date unknown" at Netflix forever, Breaking the Waves (1996) suddenly became available last week with a September 1 release date. It now has a short wait. It is a Dogme 95 film by Lars von Trier. This film has a very long wait at Greencine, Nicheflix, and Blockbuster Online.

Dragon*Con 2005 notes

I've returned from Dragon*Con. Had a good time. Out of the 68 screened, I managed to see 54 short films and one feature length. You can see the list of films I viewed here. My pick for the best, which also won the Best in Fest Live Action category and the Best in Fantasy category, is Apartment 206. Another that you might want to seek out is The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello (2005), winner of the Best of Fest (Animated) and Best Animated Fantasy & SciFi awards.

The Dragon*Con Independent Film Festival is turning into quite a serious show. I love the mix of genres in both Animated and Live Action (Fantasy, Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction, Parody, and Thriller). The festival screened films 24 hours a day, with few repeats, which is why I missed a few. I met film makers from Australia and Italy. I got a chance to tell them about Netflix and encouraged them to see if Netflix would distribute their films, because short films are seldom seen in theatres.

I ran into a couple of evacuees from Louisiana and Mississippi. I was amazed they made it to the convention and were having a good time, despite their problems back home.

The convention offered free preview screenings of Eternal and Hellbent, which I couldn't attend.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Dragon*Con 2005

I won't be watching DVDs this weekend. I'm going to watch movies "live."
I am going to Dragon*Con in Atlanta, GA, for the 19th Annual Dragon Con Independent Short Film Festival. I expect to return to blogging about Netflix on Monday, September 5.

Have a happy Labor Day weekend! The USPS is closed Monday, so Netflix will be slammed on Tuesday and Wednesday. Expect delays.

Netflix Shipping Time Analysis

via Planet Mike:

When you subscribe to Netflix, you get an email whenever their shipping office receives a DVD you've shipped back, or when they ship a DVD to you. So, since I felt that the service was slowing down, I decided to do a analysis of the times to see if the service really was slowing down. The Netflix Shipping Time Chart basically tells me that their service hasn't slipped too much lately, it's always not been as good as I think it is. Although October 2004 through December 2004 were really good! Feel free to send me your thoughts and opinions of Netflix.

See his chart here

Netflix wannabes use Rentshark

Wanna start your own Netflix clone? RentShark Online Rental Software allows you to start your own rent-by-mail business, renting DVDs, CDs, Video Games, and Books.