It is interesting to note that long ago Netflix ignited the change in the way DVD rental market worked.
Netflix model was simple and the core still continues to be the same. For a flat monthly fee, you can rent as many DVDs as possible and you can keep them for as long as you want. Depending on your plan, you could have as little as 1 DVD or as much as 5 DVDs with you.
It seemed like there is no stopping for Netflix.
Today, I think the playing field is changing again. While Netflix continues to enjoy the advantage of their innovation, it is now being attacked by a number of players. Here is the list of companies that are not allies but each one of them are trying to take a piece of the market.
1. Blockbuster: Has an offline and online strategy. You can rent online and return offline. Netflix cannot do it unless it has an offline presence. Plus, Blockbuster dropped the rental fee for old movies to $1 for five days
2. RedBox: Redbox has installed kiosks in several supermarkets and MacDonalds stores. The focus of Redbox is to rent only the latest 100 movies or so for $1/day.
3. Hulu and Other Online Venues: Watch movies totally free
Add to this the Cable Networks and Digital Video Recorders (like TiVo) and there is a battle zone in the making.
I am sure there are more innovations coming up. This is a case where whoever innovates first and fast will ultimately win. Will wait and watch 🙂