Blockbuster Incents Netflix Customers with Free Rentals

By Dec 13, 2006

Blockbuster Inc. is luring users of rival online movie rental service Netflix with free movies.

Netflix subscribers who bring an address label from their DVD mailers to any Blockbuster store will receive a free movie rental.

There is no limit on the number of free titles members can redeem. Netflix subscribers must become a Blockbuster member to receive their free movie. Membership is free.

“We want to give Netflix subscribers an opportunity to sample our service,” Blockbuster spokesperson Randy Hargrove said.

Print ads in USA Today, p.r. and banner ads support the promotion, which runs through Dec. 21.

The move is an attempt to take further market share away from Netflix as Blockbuster promotes its latest service, Total Access. The service, which launched Nov. 1, lets online subscribers return DVDs either in-store or via the mail to earn free rentals (PROMO Xtra, Nov. 15, 2006).

The program is designed to boost the number of titles customers rent and fulfill requests at a faster pace, the company said.

The incentive is designed to let users of Blockbuster’s main competitor get a taste of one of benefits in its Total Access program—free rentals.

“We wanted online renters to experience the flexibility and convenience of Total Access,” Hargrove said.

Meanwhile, Blockbuster continues its free, two-week Total Access trial at Blockbuster.com or at participating stores. Monthly plans range from $5.99 to $17.99.