Netflix vs. Blockbuster

So, we all know that Netflix is better than Blockbuster, despite the latter’s two free in-store rentals. Blockbuster is, quite simply, the evil empire of video rentals. They screwed folks over for years and years with their exorbitant late fees — fees that were higher than the cost of the rental itself — and now they pretend to have no more late fees, when in fact they’ll just charge you the cost of the movie if you don’t bring it back. Oh, they’ll refund that cost if you bring it back after the fact, but not without deducting a restocking fee.

So it makes me smile when I see stuff like this. Their stock is losing value, and it’s no wonder why. Their customers feel betrayed, and their service sucks. The latest example is this little whopper — a screenshot I grabbed here at midday on the weekend. Click for full size First of all, your site shouldn’t ever go down, unless you’re the target of a denial of service attack, or something like that. Not when you have millions of customers. There’s just no damn good reason for the whole site to be offline.

Netflix shows 54.4 million shares, at more than $23 a share, whereas Blockbuster has 191.7 million outstanding shares, but at a share price of less than $4. They’re worth about $766.8 million, with more than 84,000 employees. Netflix is worth $1.251 billion. They have 940 employees.

Some analysts say Netflix may be overvalued. They’re coming out with an earnings report on Tuesday. I wager their stock jumps up.

So much so, in fact, that I’m gonna finish opening my freaking ScottTrade account tomorrow. I gotta have some of that there Netflix. Ooh, and some Apple. I think the video downloads is about to propel them even higher.

I’ll conclude by saying that, out of sheer dislike for Blockbuster, I signed up for their free trial service, got my in-store rentals, some home deliveries, then cancelled. Then, when they asked me to come back for my first month at $1, I did it again. I think I’ve gotten somewhere just shy of 20 rentals for $1. (And that’s why I was checking Blockbuster’s site — I wanted to make sure I cancelled my account before they charged me.)


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