“DVD has been the fastest-growing commercial electronic in history,” said Randy Hargrove, a spokesman for Blockbuster, who has seen a growing appetite for DVDs among his customers.
About 4,500 of Blockbuster’s 9,100 movies for rent are DVDs. The chain changed its format to mostly DVDs in the fall and has mixed the two formats on some stores’ shelves.
The company plans to introduce next year an online service that will allow customers to order DVDs online and receive them in the mail.
“Our stores respond to customer demand,” said Mr. Hargrove, “and they want more DVDs.”
Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer, also is trying to stay competitive by offering an online DVD-rental service that ships movies by mail to customers. Customers pay a monthly fee of $15.54 for an unlimited number of rentals and may receive two by mail at a time. Or they can pay $18.76 to receive three at a time.
Netflix, an online competitor, offers three DVD movies a month, delivered for $19.95. Customers may rent as many as three at once. While Netflix offers more than 15,000 movies, 2,000 more than Wal-Mart, it doesn’t plan on changing its fees. With 2 million customers, it is the top online DVD service.
Still, some don’t see old-fashioned videos ever leaving the shelves.
“We still think videos and DVDs are going to coexist for the foreseeable future,” said Mr. Hargrove.
As far as movies that were made pre-disc, VHS still corners the market. Most of the DVDs rented are new releases, but Mr. Hargrove said movie companies are adding old films to expand their collections.
“The library is expanding, so it won’t just be new releases,” he said. “DVDs still have some room to grow.”
Mr. Bersell said videocassettes are linear, unlike DVDs, where “you can design your own home-video experience.”
“And the final thing — you don’t have to rewind.”View Entire Story
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