RealTime IT News

NetFlix Opens Online DVD Rental Store

NetFlix Inc., based in Scotts Valley, CA, launched what it is billing as the world's first online store to offer DVD rentals.

The NetFlix store carries virtually every DVD, the company said, all of which are available for rental or purchase.

"Most DVD owners are hard-pressed to find a convenient place that rents a wide selection of DVDs," said Marc B. Randolph, NetFlix president and CEO. "With a huge selection of DVD movies, all of which are available for a seven-day rental or for sale, NetFlix.com promises DVD fans the ultimate in DVD shopping."

DVD is the new Digital Video Disc format that features cinema-quality sound, high-resolution video and on-disc extras like the director's cut of movies, foreign language dubbing, subtitles, and interactivity. NetFlix currently carries more than 900 DVD titles.

NetFlix offers same-day shipping with customers receiving their DVDs in two to three days, anywhere in the United States. All rentals can be kept for seven days and returned in pre-addressed, pre-paid mailers.

The NetFlix store includes a selection of DVD-specific movie reviews, recommendations, and articles to assist shoppers, as well as search and browse features.

Shoppers may also "reserve" DVD titles that have been announced, but not released, by clicking on the Rent or Buy option for the desired title and adding it to their Shopping Cart. Reserved movies are shipped to customers on the release date, or street date, which is determined by the movie studios.

The first two movies are available for $4 each and additional titles on the same order are $3 each. Rental reservations are $5 per title. Customers pay a round-trip shipping and handling fee of $2 for the first DVD and $1 for each additional movie in the same order, with a maximum shipping and handling charge of $5 per order. An overnight shipping option is available for an extra charge.

According to the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association, more than 400,000 DVD video players have been sold since the format was launched in the spring of 1997.