Today Dish and Blockbuster announced that it is announcing Blockbuster Movie Pass. This is a service that will offer movie streaming, DVD and Blu-ray discs by mail and on-demand movie channels. The service will launch October 1st.
The service includes over 100k movies and TV shows by mail with no extra charge for Blu-ray discs. There are 3,000 movies available by TV and more than 4,000 movies that you can stream to a computer. There are also over 3,000 games available by mail.
Users will have access to unlimited exchanges of discs in-store at Blockbuster locations and 20 premium movie channels via Dish. There were no mentions of streaming to devices like iPhones and iPads.
Content will be available from Starz, Epix, Encore, Movienet and more. The service will run $10 on top of existing Dish membership. There is an introductory deal that allows new Dish subscribers to ge the service free for the first 12 months.
One company, one bill and one connection were touted as benefits of this system as was the fact that subscribers will also have access to movie offerings via their Dish movie channels nearly a month before other streaming services like Netflix. Dish also repeatedly stressed that ‘no extra fee for Blu-ray’ was a benefit of its service. This is clearly a dig at Nettflix, nee Qwikster, which charges more for BR discs.
By comparison, the streaming service from Netflix offers 20,000 titles for streaming and Amazon offers 9,000. It’s also worth noting that Dish is available in the US only.
The fact that this product is, in the end, tied to a cable subscription, makes this a fairly limited appeal option for most consumers. Those looking to reduce their ties to cable providers for access to movies will find this an especially limp offer. Services like Netflix and Amazon offer more freedom from the cable cord, while this is simply another promotional package tied to the traditional cable system.
In response to questions about offering a service like this for non-subscribers Dish said that “the ideal product is the integrated product. In the future there may be announcements for a Blockbuster subscription program for non-Dish users.”
If you’re a current Dish customer, do you think that this is a service you would welcome for $10 bucks more? If you’re not a customer can you see yourself being driven to Dish because of it?
Those questions will probably define the success of this offering, and Dish’s acquisition of Blockbuster going forward.