Blockbuster Movie Pass, Dish Network's Netflix Alternative, Announced
Blockbuster has announced its unlimited movie streaming service, dubbing it a "stream come true." But while many thought the service would compete with Netflix, the newly-named Blockbuster Movie Pass will only be available for Dish Network customers at the outset.
At a press conference in San Francisco, Dish-Network owned Blockbuster announced that the new service will be available on October 1. Blockbuster Movie Pass will include both DVDs and games by mail, as well as unlimited streaming of about 4,000 movies to computers. Executives said that, for now, Blockbuster Movie Pass will only be available to Dish Network subscribers as an add-on to current plans.
The relevant Blockbuster Movie Pass content statistics:
A few other key points arose over the course of the press conference:
- Blockbuster Movie Pass will be available as an add-on for existing Dish customers for $10 per month.
- New Dish subscribers can get Blockbuster Movie Pass with Dish's Top 200 subscription for $40 per month.
- Though there are plans to roll out Blockbuster Movie Pass to non-Dish subscribers in the future, for now the service will be available only for those with a Dish subscription.
Dish and Blockbuster executives reiterated during the press conference that they believed Blockbuster Movie Pass worked best in conjunction with a Dish Network subscription plan, as a bundle, though apparently the service will open up to non-Dish customers at some point and become a rival with Netflix's streaming giant. They mentioned that now was a lucky time for them to be launching Blockbuster Movie Pass, as Netflix has come under increasing backlash for both its July price hike and more recent unveiling of Qwikster, the totally separate DVD-by-mail service from Netflix that has many upset.
The streaming section of Blockbuster Movie Pass contains about 4,000 movies from Starz (who recently walked away from contract negotiations with Netflix), Epix, Sony and Encore; these scant offerings (Netflix streaming has about 31,700 movies, per Blockbuster's estimate at the press conference) will be supplemented by Dish Network's on-demand offerings for subscribers, which includes content from TNT, TBS, Fox, Discovery and other networks.
Again, Dish Network was clearly presenting Blockbuster Movie Pass as an add-on to its subscription service rather than a standalone that might compete directly with Netflix's much-criticized streaming library. Here's the chart they displayed to show the advantages of Movie Pass: