Blockbuster to offer free subscriptions?

With a larger customer-base, it is no surprise that grabs more monthly unique visitors and Attention* than While the new kid on the online block has certainly cut into Netflix’s market share, the incumbent remains the clear leader when using Compete metrics.

What would it take to usurp the king and become #1 in the online DVD rental space? Lower rates didn’t work. In store exchanges hasn’t yet done the trick. So how about free rentals?

Blockbuster appears ready to throw a big punch in this heavyweight bout; according to Business 2.0 the brick-and-mortar movie rental giant is close to a deal with BrightSpot Media that would negate users subscription fees! In exchange, consumers are obligated to watch and provide feedback on a set amount of advertisements per month.

Using monthly People counts as a proxy for user-base, Netflix currently attracts twice the subscribers Blockbuster does. How successful will the pending partnership be in closing the gap on the market leader? It all depends on the BrightSpot experience. BrightSpot is new and still very small; we only have a handful of panelists in our 2 million member community using the service. If consumers don’t mind logging in a couple times a month and watching 30+ advertisements then Netflix had better watch out. Consumers win, media wins, and Blockbuster wins. Who knows, maybe I’ll even give it a shot.

*Attention is the total time spent on a domain as a percentage of the total time spent online by all U.S. internet users.

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