Netflix Returning To Its Dvd-by-mail Roots?
Netflix, which has relegated its DVD/Blu-ray disc-by-mail service to an unloved stepchild status and has focused on its streaming service, may be rethinking its approach, analysts have noted. The company apparently now feels threatened by the joint venture about to be launched between Redbox and Verizon that will combine Redbox's kiosk operations with Verizon's digital distribution. As a result, commented Home Media magazine, "Netflix appears to be brushing up on its disc-rental roots." The magazine noted that Netflix has already begun a marketing campaign to urge its streaming customers to include disc rentals in their subscriptions. "No lines, no hassles," an email blurb promised -- an apparent reference to the lines of renters at many Redbox kiosks that have drawn an increasing number of complaints. BTIG Analyst Richard Greenfield, who has voiced his skepticism of the Redbox/Verizon tie-up ("feels to us like it takes two easy activities and makes them more complicated by jamming them together"), noted on Tuesday that Netflix, by marketing its movies-by-mail service more heavily, appears to be behaving as if it feels threatened by the new service.