Blockbuster Launching Netflix Rival Subscription Streaming Service?

    September 22, 2011
    Josh Wolford

It looks like Blockbuster might be jumping into the subscription streaming market, adding another player into a growing field that is getting more crowded by the minute.

Of course Netflix is the biggest player when it comes to streaming video subscriptions, but you also have players like Hulu and Amazon stealing some of the pie. Apparently, Blockbuster thinks it can compete, because according to CNN Money, they plan on announcing all of this on Friday.

Blockbuster, which was purchased by DISH Network back in April, is set to hold a press conference tomorrow entitled “A Stream Come True.” Here, they are widely expected to unveil their new streaming service.

If true, Blockbuster has picked a rather interesting time to announce all of this. The past few weeks have been hell for Netflix, as a series of changes and announcements has shaken investors and customers alike.

On September 1st, the new pricing structure went into effect. No more $9.99 plans that include unlimited streaming and 1-DVD-at-a-time service – those plans are now separate and both cost $7.99. That drew some backlash, to say the least.

Just this week, CEO Reed Hasting posted a public apology to the Netflix blog, stating that they had made mistakes with how they handled the changes. The only problem was that enveloped in the apology was the news that Netflix is splitting off its DVD service entirely, into another company called Qwikster.

Between those events, Netflix announced that they would be losing all their Starz content after renegotiations failed.

Apparently, Blockbuster wants to try and swoop down when the beast is vulnerable. It wouldn’t be the first time, although this announcement would be significantly bigger than any other opportunistic moves they have made in the past.

After Netflix announced their price hike in July, Blockbuster went on a campaign, complete with a blog post called “Blockbuster Rescues Furious Netflix Customers.” They offered their Total Access DVD subscription as a free trial for those who wanted to abandon Netflix.

Blockbuster has never offered a streaming subscription. They have their aforementioned DVD subscription service called Total Access, and they stream movies via their website as well – but on a pay-per-view basis. A flat-rate unlimited plan would put them in direct competition with Netflix.

Now, if only Blockbuster could combine their upcoming streaming plan with their DVD plan as a bundle for, let’s say, $9.99?