AfterDawn: Tech news

Wal-Mart quits online rentals and promotes Netflix

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 20 May 2005 20:13 User comments (20)

Wal-Mart quits online rentals and promotes Netflix Retail giant Wal-Mart has quit offering an online DVD rental service and instead will promote Netflix. 500 million surfers visit Wal-Mart's website annually, so it will be a major boost for Netflix which has been struggling lately. Netflix was hit by competition from Blockbuster and both have been waging a price war for months. "This is big," Fulcrum Global Partners analyst Stacey Widlitz said. "That's pretty significant for (Netflix). I would say they are gaining back some traction in the fight with Blockbuster."
In return, Netflix will promote Wal-Mart DVD sales to its three million customers. Wal-Mart will offer users the chance to subscribe to Netflix at their current monthly subscription price of $12.97. Blockbuster didn't sit and watch this happen without doing anything though, it has offered current Netflix and Wal-Mart customers switching to Blockbuster's online rental service two free months of rentals plus a free retail DVD of their choice.

Netflix charges $17.99 per month for customers to rent three DVDs at a time. So now with Wal-Mart out of the way, it is up to just Blockbuster and Netflix to rival. Shares of Netflix jumped as much as 24% and touched their highest level since August, before rival Blockbuster launched its own rental service.


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20 user comments

121.5.2005 2:22

I have to say this made me switch out of Netflix last night. Like most I make very few purchase decisions influenced by moral issues. But I have to say that Walmart's practices against its employees, its gutting of entire communites leaves a bad taste and I am not interested in helping them. Maybe I will get flamed as thin skinned or over-reacting but I think a lot of people are going to feel the same way. A lot of Netflix appeal to me was a reaction to Blockbuster. Little guy vs big guy. But nothing Blockbuster has done even approaches the issue of teaming with Walmart. I am not going to see one red cent of my money helping such a preditory company. I saw Blockbuster had a two month free offer for cancelling Netflix. My Netflix experience had gone way downhill anyway, long waits for new releases, poor turnaround, etc. I signed up for Blockbuster, had a bit of difficulty and called thier 800 number. the person was polite and efficient and fixed my sign up problem quickly. In 15 minutes I had two coupons for free rental from the store printed off their site and FINALLY had a copy of the Incredibles, which has been on my netflix que for two weeks!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 May 2005 @ 2:26

221.5.2005 3:38

Excellent choice. I have had nothing but success with I have pretty much been able to get every movie in my que without much delay. I have actually gotten new releases on the release date. Since there is a distribution center within an hour of my home I get my movies generally one day after they are shipped.

321.5.2005 3:52

i also went to netflix and i was paying $24 a month for walmart for 3 movies and now i pay $21 for 4 movies !!! what a great deal

421.5.2005 9:46

I was with walmart and switched to netflix. I hope netflix will be able to handle all the new costumers they will be getting. I dont know how many subscribers walmart had but Im sure it was alot. I hope this dont affect how long we have to wait on our movies.

521.5.2005 10:48

I use Netflix 3-titles at a time for $17.92/mo. I tried Wal-Mart...but it was too slow when I am. A word about Wal-Mart. I live in a small town after moving from a big town (L.A.). I wanted to give my business to the'local' folks. I bought 2 pens and a box of rubber bands--right on Main Street. Both pens had dried up years ago, the rubber bands were a de-vulcanized glop of goo. In a lot of places outside of big cities remember the fact that no one brought any new stores if you were not a big city. Their success has been placing stores in geographically chosen locations at the center to maybe 5 or so smallish town. I think people don't like them because of their success. Best of all, when you buy crap...they'll refund the money with no questions. But, truthfully--almost all stores and 100% of all car dealerships exist ONLY to rob you of your last couple of bucks. I have had spectaculr luck on eBay--and I always look there first. If grocery stores delivered...and I had eBay on the computer--would there really be a reson to travel to buy something?

621.5.2005 10:58

Go Netflix, Block Buster sucks, there slow and they dont have many titles plus most of their titles are either long ass wait or short wait or just not available. Some problems i had was they sent me the wrong dvd's and sometimes the only thing i would get in my mail box is that tear off with your address on it so screw blockbuster. With netflix i get 5 at a time and so far no problems ive been with them for 3 years now and counting, they always have the tittles i want none of them are in long or shortwait . Always on time. :) Go net flix. Thanks for your great Superb service, and keep at it.

722.5.2005 13:04

In response to S2k's remarks about Wal-Mart,they arent really fair to the people who shop there either.They allowed people to buy RFID tagged merchandise beyond anyones knowelege.To those who arent familiar thats Radio Frequency I.D. tags that they can track via satellite.Thats right,you were used as guinea pigs for the United States goverment and pimped out by Walmart. Not sure what I mean by the U.S. goverment huh? Well, then I should explain a little more.The U.S. military has been using Walmart stores to test its RFID program more or less to work out bugs before they deploy it.You probably are thinking nah - If I would have bought something with that I would have SEEN it.Wrong again, these things are the size of a single granule of sand Thanks everybody at Wal-Marts! Im glad to know my privacy is so important to you.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 22 May 2005 @ 13:13

822.5.2005 20:13

i agree with you stonie228, i just hope that they can handle the customers that Walmart is going to be recruiting/ bringing in.....I am not trying to endure any long waits for any movies

922.5.2005 21:28

Uh-oh...better watch out for those BLACK HELICOPTERS around Wal-Mart filled with people who want to know something. Rest easy. Just ask yourself--WHY would anybody want to know anything about you? All the movie rental co.'s are the same--it's just that the distribution locations that controls either good or bad service. The most evil of them all--is BLOCKBUSTER. They spent YEARS working at a loss to drive mom&pop rental stores out of business. AND--they didn't even try to hide is a basic tenet of their biz philosophy. I think there are too many movies with Hollywood stars in charge shouting at "evil government people". Hell--even my fav "Day after Tomorrow" had to gag us down that with that scenario. Kinda like Barb Streisand tearing up for the poor when her too hands have enough jewels on them to feed 45,000 people for a year.

1022.5.2005 22:57

I never ever post here, however, in response to runner121 stating that RFID can be tarcked by "satellite", that's incorrect. RF stands for Radio Frequency. Not GPS tracking. RFID tags need to be read by a device within close proximity. That is all.

1123.5.2005 0:01

who cares right? big business is big business. I dont like netflix, or blockbuster. SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL STORES!

1223.5.2005 0:13

Sadly, with the exception of restaurants and fast food joints--local businesses seldom have even adequate reasons to be in business. Like the old saying..."Family Owned and Operated"...shouts loudly--the old man made the business by hard work--but now all 6 of his worthless children work there and gotta make the big bucks. Now--guess who supports these has all been figured out and it is based in AREA 51!!

1323.5.2005 19:46

You know opinions are like @$$holes and everyone has one, so let me add mine. I've been a netflix customer for sometime. They've been a great resource for me to get all the movies I want for a nominal fee. The service 95% of the time is great! The customer service is equal to that percentage. While I don't buy in to conspiracy theories much, government tracking at Walmart doesn't seem that far fetched. Being true and accurate is another thing. Walmart has some employment practices that are less than desirable, but then so have many other companies. You may wish to boycott Netflix due there affilliation and you may avoid Walmart, but neither of these companies will get it without a ground-swell of support from like-minded consumers. Otherwise, why should they listen when their market share keeps improving? People are so full of crap; more talk than do. We complain much but do little. Always asking why doesn't someone do something---no why don't you. Until we start doing more --- shut up! Is "Big Brother" watching, tracking us? Of course, because we keep giving away civil liberties for the sake of "Security". Amazing how a connection is made with DVD rentals and National Security. Use common sense people!

1424.5.2005 9:52

Wal-Mart for years has been killing all the local businesses with thier lower price products, but when you have a problem with thier merchadise who do you go see. The answer to that is no one. Example is for instance you go to thier sporting goods store and buy a fishing reel and after a couple of months the reel will not work, what can you do answer nothing but with the local bait store that you used to have, the owner would fix it for you for free most times or get it fixed for a very small fee. Remeber Wal-Mart is a non union store that pays minimum wages and uses at least 90% of its employees as part time help. Now in my area they are putting in a super market and the dam city officials are ok with this idiot idea. You see Wal-Mart will lower all the food prices until they run the competition out of business and then raise the prices to astronomical numbers. The consumer will then have to buy from Wal-Mart or go out of town to buy their groceries. I ask you people this what happens when you eliminate the middle class citizen? You then will have such chaos that you can not believe, because the dam rich pay no taxes and the poor can not pay taxes. You eliminate the mom and pop stores and who will support this country surely not Wal-Mart

1525.5.2005 10:46

Hi, I'm a blockbuster on-line subscriber. I have to say after trying Walmart and Netflix that Blockbuster is the best. I'm paying a little over 16.00 a month that's including the taxes. I get three movies at a time, and I also get two free movies, or games a month. that alone is worth the $16.00. I rented two games this month and to keep them just one week it was $14.00. Any one would be crazy not to take this deal!!!!!! I usually get my movies 2 days after they are sent and I have always with the exception of maybe one or two new releases always been able to get them when they first come out.

1625.5.2005 16:24

Blockbuster was good. Netflix was faster. Now, in light of the news, Netflix seems to be slipping a little bit. Longer waits for movies, more confusion, etc. Maybe when a company increases it's market share by 24% it should prepare a little more for it. My wife and I are gonna switch back to Blockbuster for the online rental situation. And by the way, we support the local video store as well, and rarely use the Blockbuster store at all. Their unlimited rental deal is outrageous, at $30 per month for 3 movies. The local store is $10 per month. Blockbuster store will be there for the two free cupons each month that go along with the subscription. Lol people. Avoid Walmart like the plague. That's my input...

1728.5.2005 0:42

I have both Netflix and Blockbuster accounts, but even Netflix dealing with the devil won't make me change. I'm really not too fond of Blockbuster. I've had way too many damaged discs and delayed shipments. Their website is atrocious to use, and almost everything in my queue has a wait time. I want to like Blockbuster, the 2 free in-store coupons are a nice bonus, but they really need to shape up to be a player in the market. Sig removed. Read the forum rules ... No advertising

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 29 May 2005 @ 0:15

182.6.2005 9:26

I too have used Netflix for several years now. I have also used Blockbuster and Blockbuster sucks. There is always a long wait for for good movies, apparently their stock is limited. Their packaging is bad. The perferation tears is mailing and a lot of times I only get the label. I will stick with Netflix as I rarely buy movies.

193.6.2005 16:53

I couldn't make up my mind which rental service to try. Based on comments here I am going to try Netflix. I'll share results later.

203.6.2005 23:02

Now who on EARTH didn't see this coming... Of course you knew that Wal-Mart wasn't going to last in this...I mean, the only reason why they even got into it in the first place, is because they wanted to put their hand in another cookie jar. My congrats for making the right choice and sticking to what they do best...selling their own products. Best to promote Netflix anyways...been using them for over a year and get 5 out at a time and going to create another acct. to get 5 more out at a time, so will finally get 10 (hehe) out at a time! Woohoo! to run to WalMart...need to return something :) ;P

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