What Are The Alternatives To Netflix?

I was talking to my wife about Netflix and told her about last weeks announcement that included the statistic that over 800,000 subscribers quit last quarter and how their stock has fallen around 75% since they started messing with their pricing and other ill-advised strategies that have riled up their customers and sent investors panicking.

She asked me “What are people using instead?”

Good question.

Here are some of the Netflix alternatives I can come up with off the top of my head.

  1. Redbox – The kiosks are at many grocery stores and other common shopping places around town.  They’re cheap (though I heard they just raised prices too?) but you’re limited as to whether they have a movie in stock that is of interest to you.  We’ve never used Redbox.
  2. Video store – You could still go to your corner video store.  If this even exists.  Most of the video stores within a five mile radius of our house have closed within the last two years, with the latest victim a Blockbuster.  We haven’t rented a movie from a video store in years.
  3. Cable – We get Starz as part of our Digital cable package.  They have movies On Demand that we sometimes watch reguarly.  You can also ‘rent’ movies from the ‘On Demand’ service as well as Pay-Per-View.  We’ve never done that but many movies are $2.99 so it could be well worth it.
  4. The internet – I’ve watched a few things streaming but only on a laptop or desktop monitor, which is admittedly a step backward if you ask me.  We don’t have our TV hooked up to the Internet, but I know Roku boxes these days are dirt cheap, and you can find shows to watch for free or for a low cost subscription (such as Amazon Prime).  I’ve been tempted but haven’t gone down this path yet.
  5. Library – Our library gets a good selection of videos.  Renting movies from the library has been our main source of substitution since we put our Netflix subscription on hold at the beginning of the year.

I think Netflix blew it because they assumed that once they ‘beat’ Blockbuster, they had cornered the market on video services.  Except, as it turns out, there are more options turning up that customers are happy to deal with.

What options do you use alongside or in place of Netflix?  Did I miss any big ones off my list?

6 thoughts on “What Are The Alternatives To Netflix?”

  1. Here's some irony: Red Box just increased their rental fee to $1.20 for movies, ostensibly because of the Durbin Amendment. Probably changes the math a bit – but still a cheap option if you don't rent that often.

  2. @PKamp3 – I saw that. $1.20 doesn't have the same ring to it as $1, so it'll be interesting to see how that plays out!

  3. I use our library. It is free, so it is nice. However, the lines can be huge to get something very popular. Sometimes it takes upto three months to get what we want. But I am not complaining. It is still free! 🙂 We could use Redbox, but we were always late with returning DVDs. So we stopped using it.

  4. Since lowering our cable bill by $50 per month, we've started using, every once and while, the Pay-Per-View option. I'm really forgetful so this is great for us. Sometimes the money we pay for the PPV movies is less than the late fees at the library or Redbox!

  5. If you subscribe to DISH Network you can now get the Blockbuster Movie Pass! It is another great option for your gaming and movie rentals. There are one, two and three disc plans available and no additional charge for Blu-ray movies. Working for DISH I can tell you that you can stream thousands of on-demand titles right to my TV or computer.

  6. I only used netflix for a couple months due to a gift certificate. I can't see their streaming being any better then watching anything else over the internet, which I do use from time to time for sports mostly. I figure it'll still be 4-5 years before streaming video will be up to par as cable and Bluray. More than enough time for competition to enter the market.

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