Blockbuster’s Online DVD Rentals

Blockbuster Video have launched an online DVD rental business, much like that offered by Netflix. With a £13.99 (€20.78) subscription, customers can order up to three DVDs at a time from the online service. Blockbuster are are offering a library of 15,000 titles initially, with many more planned.

The service works in a similar fashion to those already in the market – you select titles from the website and up to three are sent to you from your list of desired films. When you’ve finished with a film, you return it in the reply paid envelope and the next film in your list is sent out to you. Subscribers never pay for postage no matter how many rentals they make in a month.

“Many of our customers rent on impulse and our stores are the perfect solution for this. However, the online service will suit those with very busy lifestyles who want a more up-to-date choice of movie than is available on the premium channels. It will be like having a multiplex in your front room.” said Steve Foulser, commercial vice-president of Blockbuster.

This is not Blockbuster’s first venture away from traditional forms for entertainment rental – the company is currently working with Kingston Communications to offer a video on demand rental service in Hull. Movies cost between £2 and £3.50 (€2.98 and €5.20) for a 24 hour rental, with television programmes costing £0.50 (€0.74) each.


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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?