This is what Shawn Morton would look like if he had been made of LEGO sMoRTy71.com -- the personal website of Shawn Morton
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Saturday, February 18, 2006
Impressions: Blockbuster Online
My two week trial with Blockbuster Online is about to end, so I thought I would share my impressions of their service as it compares to Netflix.

Online tools
BB's website leaves a lot to be desired. Feels very old school. Advantage: Netflix.

Availability
On the first day that I joined, which happened to be after their Super Bowl ad blitz, almost all of the movies I added to my queue were unavailable. I don't know if they don't reserve part of their inventory for new customers (like NF does) or if their reserves were depleted by the flood of new members those ads must have brought in. BB did ship me my first movie the next day, though. Advantage: None.

Delivery times

As with the early days of Netflix, BB was able to get my movies to my house the day after they shipped. And returns were processed just as quickly. So compared to how NF *used* to be, they were the same. Advantage: None.

Selection
I can't really speak to this point because I went for popular, new releases during my trial period. Advantage: Unknown.

Overall, Blockbuster was a decent experience; however, nothing special. I think Netflix' online tools, especially their emphasis on community (user ratings, friends lists, etc), give them a big advantage.

Because I haven't been with BB long enough to experience their version of smoothing/throttling, I can't comment on if they are better or worse than NF in that regard. So, for the time being, I think I am going to stick with Netflix.

About Shawn Morton

Married father of 6; VP of Social Media at JPMorgan Chase; gluten-free; gadget enthusiast; hair metal aficionado; #Movember man View more on LinkedIn.