Netflix vs. Blockbuster vs. Redbox

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Difference between Netflix, Blockbuster and Redbox

Movie rental services have undoubtedly changed the way that people view movies in radical new ways. Drawing in a large share of the movie going audiences who have traditionally gotten their movie fix from theaters and movie houses, services such as Netflix, Blockbuster and Redbox represent the shifting trend in movie viewing. Let's take a look at the most prominent features of each.



Blockbuster has traditionally held the edge over other movie providers due to its mail order delivery, which allowed customers to order movies as they wish. Netflix does show signs of catching up with its biggest competitor, with a download model on addition to a mail order service similar to Blockbuster's. While this advantage doesn't account for a significant market lead for Netflix given the relative newness of the technology, it will no doubt become a more significant factor as the model gains momentum.

RedBox for its part offers movies from their kiosks. Due to the limited physical space, there are only so many movie titles that they can offer at any one time.


Netflix and Blockbuster seem to be neck and neck as far as movie selection goes, with both offering in excess of 100,000 titles at any given time. The sheer number of available flicks means that there is always something that is sure to catch your fancy whenever you drop by.

Redbox on the other hand falls way short of the two giants, and most of their selection is comprised of fairly new to brand new releases. This shouldn't be a problem if all you want is the latest Hollywood blockbuster, but fans of the more esoteric will have a lot less to choose from.


This is where Blockbuster loses points. The $5 rental price has always been hard to swallow, but the recent move to raise its online prices caused further uproar. Netflix doesn't fare much better in this regard either, with prices that aren't much lower than Blockbuster's. Nevertheless, Netflix is still cheaper than Blockbuster, and with an equivalent selection of movies, more people seem to be drawn to the service.

RedBox takes the cake in this department, with the $1 per night fee for new and not-quite-new movies falling in at a comfortable bracket. For most people, the comparatively limited selection is easy enough to disregard given the much lower price of movie rentals.

Similarities and Differences


  • Wide range of movies
  • Offers mail-order and download options
  • Pricier than RedBox but still costs less than Blockbuster


  • Excellent movie selection
  • Expensive!
  • No download option


  • Cheapest of the three
  • Fairly small selection
  • Good choice for new and almost new movies

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