Blockbuster Tries To Thwart Netflix, Gobbles Up Movie Download Service

Blockbuster has purchased Movielink, an ailing movie download service cobbled together by film studios to combat online piracy. The deal will give Blockbuster access to movies from Sony, Universal, Paramount, MGM, and Warner Brothers. Netflix’s download service, by contrast, offers a limited selection of mostly older movies. The deal is the latest salvo fired in the consumer-friendly war of the movie rental services. No word yet on how long hackers might take to crack the new download service.

Blockbuster buys download service [Mercury News]
(Photo: Magic Lantern Shows)

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  1. karlmarx says:

    Amazon.com offers a download service for Boxed Sets where you can download them and watch them on their service only, even though you buy the movie, you can never put it in your DVD player, it is formatted to play on the computer only. I hope that this new service is not the same.

  2. MalichiDemonos says:

    I’ll give it a month and it will be hacked.

  3. camas22 says:

    a counter point to your pro- BB post.

    The movielink service has been floundering since its inception and the studios are offloading it at a huge loss. for good reason.

    The service itself works of the same choice stream technology, but offers videos crippled with DRM. The client app only works on windows machines. They charge $.99 for each rental or $1.99 per purchase. A limited number of watch it now hours are included with each Netflix subscription for free.

  4. jeffeb3 says:

    This is great, I hope they give you the real service, and not just some crippled preview of it. I would really like to have lots of new movies to choose if I got sick or something.

  5. theblackdog says:

    Another brilliantly bad move by Blockbuster. I see this thing failing in a year.

  6. superlayne says:

    I bet you five dollars it won’t work in FireFox.

    Space dollars, that is.

  7. mammalpants says:

    if i had a choice between blockbuster and no movies ever again, id have to say no movies. if i had to choose between at&t and cancer, id be checking into costs for chemo. that is all. goodnight, america.

  8. d0x says:

    Blockbuster sucks, plain and simple. They pissed too many people off for too many years with high prices and higher late fees. People have gotten smart and now we have more options.

    All my video needs are handled by Netflix, Xbox 360 Video Marketplace and Targets decent sized and priced DVD selection..now if only they had more HD-DVD’s.

    To be honest even if Blockbuster made some amazing moves in this space I still wouldnt go back, I no longer trust the name. To me Blockbuster is the same as Best Buy which means it equals horrible service and zero trust.

  9. ReccaSquirrel says:

    @d0x: I’m glad you won’t go back. It means there is more movie availability for me.

  10. gtr225 says:

    @ReccaSquirrel: I’m glad d0x won’t go back either. It means I’m not the only one who doesn’t trust the Blockbuster name.

  11. night_sky says:

    This is why private torrents and buying DVD’s is my favorite combination to watch what I want to watch, where I want to watch it, and how I want to watch it. I would go to the theaters if it wasn’t filled with annoying arse people all the time. Since it never is, though, the above mentioned is sufficient enough for my movie viewing pleasure.

  12. night_sky says:

    hah, woops, I meant since it always is.

  13. Helvetian says:

    @ReccaSquirrel: Same here, more movies for me. Been a BB customer for a few years, perfect service and treatment. Very satisfied. I agree BB cornered the market and gouged consumers with high prices during the days of the stores, but Netflix is guilty of the samething for many years. No innovation, rate increases and bad service until BB launched their own online service. Now Netflix is uping the ante with better services and lower pricing.

    Doesn’t matter how you slice it, competition = good news for consumers. Netflix or BB? Have it your way!

  14. nffcnnr says:

    Nice try, BlockBuster, but you’re never gonna get another penny from me. Your high rental prices and crappy service put you on my BANNED!! list 10 years ago. Netflix and the “you can find anything for free on the internets” rule your crap.

  15. Helvetian says:

    @nffcnnr: BB had a monopoly, and monopolies take advantage by gouging consumers. Did you forget about the Netflix monopoly? Between 1997 and 2004, Netflix dominated the market and bullied any emerging competitors with lawsuits about patents. Their rates kept going up, their customer service was non-existent, no way to call them, then they opened a center with a difficult to find # but with limited hours 10-1PM PT. They throttle accounts, and continued to raise their rates until Blockboster, a behemoth in the industry stepped into the online world of rentals. Since then Netflix has changed, extended business hours, a visible and accessible toll free hotline, expanded catalog, more plan choices including lower tiers, reduction in plan pricing (a first for the company), and innovation: new web site design, more tools, connectivity options, that new download service and more. BB has also improved.

    So I say good to competition, it’s important to recognize both companies had shady practices, gouged consumers and continued to raise rates until the market changed. Without BB, Netflix would be the only real choice and we wouldn’t see prices going down, but going up. Who wants to pay more for less? Choice is good, as a consumer you decide :)

  16. gtr225 says:

    @Helvetian: Couldn’t have sad it better myself.

  17. Helvetian says:

    @gtr225: Thank you.