For years now, Netflix has seemed like it has cornered the market in video rental and online streaming services. Many video rental chains, and small video rental shops, have gone out of business, citing businesses like Netflix as the main reason they had to go out of business. It has been awhile since Netflix has seen any real competition, but it seems like that is slowly changing. In the years ahead, it is very likely Netflix will not be the only name in the market and they will eventually have to evolve to meet the constantly changing needs of the consumer market. There are so many options out there, in terms of onlne rental and streaming video services, that it is hard to know which one would be right for you. The following is a list of some of the most interesting Netflix competitors who have came about over the last few years:
Hulu/ Hulu Plus
Hulu is easily the biggest up and coming competitor to Netflix. For one thing, the basic Hulu site is completely free for everyone. The site boasts a wide range of old and new tv shows, albeit with some limited access, and also a library of mostly older movies. A Hulu Plus subscription only costs a small monthly fee, which is less than Netflix, and gives you access to same day streaming of new tv shows, access to the entire Criterion Collection of films and other special features. The only downside is that Hul does not offer the range of movies and tv shows that Netflix does.
Amazon Instant Video
Over the last few years, Amazon has expanded their business model and have become legit competitors to the largest internet and software companies in the world. On place where they have focused a lot of attention has been in internet media service, and Amazon Instant Video is one of the most focused services in that genre.
If there is one niche market that Apple has not yet dominated it is in the internet video streaming services. But, Apple is definitely making a go at it now with their souped up Apple TV version. The service same-day as released streaming services, which Netflix does not.
This is a market that operates very differently than the others, but is definitely making an impact in the market. redBox is located throughout the country, and people can go to one, rent a movie from the machine and then return the movie at any machine location they want, so it is kind of like having a video rental shop within a couple blocks of wherever you may be.
Nick is a freelance writer for a host of newspapers, magazines, blogs and websites. When he is not writing, he is usually sitting on his couch, in front of his computer, eating cereal and watching whatever he can find on Netflix, and other online streaming video services. He also works in dvd manufacturing duplication in his hometown of Kennewick, Washington.