Friday, March 26, 2010

Hello RedBox, goodbye Netflix

I was sick as a dog last weekend and since I wasnt good for much but the couch I decided to watch some movies. Pay-per-view is expensive, regular stuff on TV was junk (even in my drugged state), I had my one NetFlix movie to watch but the wife wanted me to wait to watch it with her so I needed another option. I figured it was a good time to give RedBox a shot finally. I went online, created an account, and found a couple movies and reserved them. A short trip to the local DropBox location (2 miles even where I live out in the sticks) and the machine regurgitated my movies, charged me $2.12 and off I went. While my movie selection was bad, $2.12 for 2 new movies was a good deal. The location was convenient, had what I wanted, and I got the movies for a little over 24 hours.

According to FeedFliks, my average movie cost for NetFlix is $4.12:

148 DVDs returned since September 2000
 You have rated 181 titles*
 Most recent return: 23/Mar/10 i.e. 3 days ago
 Average time you keep DVDs at home: 23 days
 Movies/month: 2.7 by DVD | 0.3 by IW
 Your 1 at-a-time (Unlimited) plan costs $10.99/month
 Your cost: $4.12 per DVD | With IW: $3.66
 89% of FeedFliksers pay less than you per movie
The above stats reflect your activity over the most recent 3 months 

Thats significantly above the $1.06 price from RedBox. Yeah from the stats above, i'm not the ideal NetFlix user. What can I say? I'm a busy guy :)

Whats missing?
  • BlueRay - RedBox doesnt offer them. NetFlix charges me extra for them
  • RedBox has a terrible website. No queue to "remember" movies to watch, no way of rating them, getting recommendations etc. Over the last 10 years i've rated many movies, but their suggestion algorithm leaves a lot to be desired. They should take a page out of the Music Genome project.

I've mentioned before that I'm a fan of the "watch it when I feel like it" approach of NetFlix, but from the math above I can keep every RedBox movie for at least 3 days and still come out ahead. Between the higher cost, slower delivery time (5 minute run to the RedBox or 2-3 days of snailmail) and the poor/very old selection that comes from Netflix streaming I dont see how NetFlix can survive unless they change significantly.

Goodbye NetFlix, you're dead to me.

blog comments powered by Disqus