It's Halloween, and with that, Redbox responds to the trick-or-treat question with a 20% price increase at its 34,000 movie rental kiosks that starts today.
So what's the reason for the 20-cent price hike?
Congress. Specifically, Coinstar cites the recent passage of the Durbin Amendment as the reason why it has to jump its rates (in addition to any other increased operating expenses the company's faced). For those uninformed, the Durbin Amendment comes with two major provisions with which consumers have likely come into contact.
The first provision slapped a limit on the interchange fees that banks are allowed to charge – essentially, the money that they make from retailers whenever a consumer uses a debit card to make a purchase. In response, banks have started to scramble to cover the lost revenue, including going so far as to tell customers that they will soon be assessed a fee for using their debit cards to purchase items.
In a somewhat surprising move, DISH Network said Wednesday that the company had been selected as the winning bidder in BlockBuster's bankruptcy auction, and will acquire BlockBuster's assets for about $228 million after various cost adjustments.
The total bid was $320 million, DISH said. The acquisition is expected to be completed during the second quarter, the companies said, if the bankruptcy court approves the deal.
DISH, a satellite provider, didn't say why it wanted to acquire BlockBuster, with 1,700 physical stores and a streaming service on top of it. But DISH has recently made moves to acquire licenses to content, enhancing its video-on-demand services with a deal with EPIX on Tuesday to bring its movies to DISH's online service, DISHOnline. DISH extended remote streaming to the iPad in December.
Adding a chain of stores and BlockBuster's existing relationships with content providers will help facilitate DISH's transformation into more of a provider of on-demand content than simply a "linear" provider of scheduled broadcasts.
What’s the easiest way for a behemoth of a company, like Blockbuster, that seemingly owns its market segment to die? Being unwilling to change with the times. Note, I said unwilling, not unable. With the amount of money that Blockbuster was bringing in during the VHS-to-DVD transition, you’d think that they’d have better planned for the future—especially when Netflix arrived on the scene 13 years ago. Instead, the company was too brash and egotistical to realize that their business model would be in need of a major overhaul, and now they are paying for it. Today Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy. At this point, they don’t plan to shut down any stores or anything…but hey, Hollywood Video went bankrupt this past February, and a few months later, they shuttered operations completely. Just looking at what Blockbuster currently offers by way of online on-demand viewing, we wouldn’t be surprised (although we’d be saddened) if they were gone within 24 months.
What do you think? Any Blockbuster die-hards still around out there?
Read More | Ars
We like today’s Deal of the Day because it doesn’t really get much better than free. Today you can get a 4-week free trial to Blockbuster Total Access, the company’s Netflix competitor. What’s cool about this offer is that Blockbuster typically only allows for a 2-week trial, so this one is twice as long. Even better? They are including Blu-ray and video game rentals in the trial as well. So basically you get a free month of DVD, Blu-ray, and video game (Wii, Xbox 360, PS3) rentals by mail, and you get to keep 3 discs out at a time.
In a last ditch effort to keep up with their online counterpart Netflix, and those oh so convenient Redbox machines found at nearly every grocery store, Blockbuster started slanging their rentals via snail mail. However, with the video game market growing ever larger thanks to blockbusters of their own, such as Halo and Call of Duty, Blockbuster needed another ace in the hole in order to compete.
Enter Blockbuster’s new plan to counter the Gamefly epidemic. As of now, you will be able to order not just movies through the mail, but video games as well. This allows Playstation, Xbox 360, and Wii fanboys to get their fix without so much as leaving the couch. With this maneuver Blockbuster hopes to counter lackluster game sales they’ve been battling with, thanks to more relevant gaming outlets in the form of Gamestop and Gamefly. Of which the former offers an awesome trade-in system, and the latter specializes in mailing games directly to your house.
What do you think of Blockbuster’s “new” way to rent video games? Will you make Blockbuster your new priority for video game rentals, or will you stick to your old routine? If you wanna see how it all works, you can get a two-week Blockbuster Online free trial.
Read More | Blockbuster Online
Blockbuster isn’t doing so hot these days, as they are in the midst of closing up shop on another 500 retail locations. They realize that they need to figure out ways to make money with their highly outdated model (rather than quickly adopting the Internet to its fullest capacity,) so they are bringing back late fees! That’s right, the late fees that Blockbuster did away with five years ago are back, although some would argue that they never went away in the first place, they were just renamed. We digress.
From here on out, you can expect to pay $1 per day in late fees when you rent a disc from your local Blockbuster, with the cap being $10 after 10 days. We bet at that point, they just charge you for the full price of the disc and call it a day. Yeah, this is why we stick with Netflix.
Read More | Slashfilm
The HT-BD3252 not only features a bundle of speakers, but it has an integrated Blu-ray 2.0 profile player that supports BD-Live. It supports audio codecs like Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD-MA, and includes streaming Internet services such as Pandora, Netflix, and Blockbuster with the included Wi-Fi dongle. All this plus an iPod dock for just $799.
Full press release after the jump.
Another deal from the ailing company Blockbuster comes in the form of a Summer Escape Pass. Available for a limited time in participating stores, $10.00 plus tax gets you unlimited movies and games. A new one can be purchased the following week and can be acquired at either the retail level or online. This sounds like a great idea for couch potatoes who have a week’s vacation and want to make it a staycation, especially for those who happen to live close to one.
Blockbuster continues to try to save its assets. This time it is offering video to its mail rental service to Wii, PS2, PS3 and Xbox 360 gamers. One subscription allows unlimited games, one at a time, for those with online-only service, while those with Total Access receive the same in-store exchange deal as they do with movies. Beginning with a pilot program in Cleveland in June, expect the service for all by the end of the year.
Read More | Blockbuster
If you own a TiVo, then you will soon be able to access Blockbuster’s OnDemand service. Compatible with broadband connected TiVo Series2, Series3, TiVo HD and TiVo HD XL DVRs, users will be allowed to rent and buy movies. Both companies will utilize cross-marketing and, as part of the deal, Blockbuster will sell TiVos on their site as well as in their stores. Plans to feature Netflix and Amazon will still continue, so it looks as though this is a win-win-win for TiVo. Expect the new service to begin in the second half of this year. Sign up with TiVo to be notified of the changeover.
Read More | Real Tech News