Struggling rental company Blockbuster announced three new promotions this week: “CampWannaWatchaMovie,” a kid-centric summer pass program that grants unlimited $.99 family-friendly movie rentals for $4.99/month; a special Sunday-only “Lazy Days of Summer” offer that cuts rental prices to $.49; and a matinee-style weekly deal where rentals cost $1.49 and include a free soft drink.
Is the former rental king simply being generous, or just desperate to reverse its lackluster fortunes? Perhaps a mixture of both.
No stranger to throwing deals to lure back customers, the Dish-owned company announced in May a new pricing structure that many believed was also key to better competing with the more consumer-friendly prices and convenience of companies such as Redbox and Netflix. Blockbuster simultaneously started a “Rent One Get One Free” program that expired on July 4th.
Both announcements followed an unfortunate reality that comes with bankrupt retail companies: store closures.
Regardless, Kevin Lewis, Blockbuster’s Chief Marketing Officer, touted the new promotions’ benefits. “With the Kids Summer Pass, parents can bring their kids in from the hot sun and keep them entertained while on road trips, sleepovers or at home for the remainder of the summer for a very low price,” said Lewis. “When customers want a movie right away on a hot afternoon, they can simply walk into a participating Blockbuster store and pick out a low-priced movie.”
Meanwhile, rumors continue to swirl about new Blockbuster owner Dish Network mulling over how best to leverage and implement the brand into a unique streaming service – or something entirely new. New Dish CEO Michael Clayton has said that he wants to see a “landscaping change” for the movie rental and streaming industry. Clayton intends to bring Dish’s combined acquisitions – Blockbuster included – to bear in the process.
Current home entertainment streaming leader Netflix already expects such a move, and is arguably one step ahead of Dish/Blockbuster – looking not to compete with other online streaming companies, but cable TV operators themselves.
In March, Netflix outbid several pay TV giants for the exclusive rights to an Americanized remake of hit British drama series “House of Cards.” By the time a genuine Blockbuster-branded streaming service hits the Internet, Netflix could be ruling consumer attention with its virgin voyage into original programming.
What do you think about the new Blockbuster promotions? Are they enough to get you back into your local store this summer? Let us know in the comment section.