January 11: Not much new to report, though we've belatedly updated to reflect Asian specialist CinFlix's new pricing policy--they send out your entire lot of discs in one go.
December 10: Again, the market remains rather stable, but we notice one new niche entrant Artistic Gurus. They focus only on art demonstration videos, and do not offer unlimited plans, but will be a useful resource for artists.
June 10: Little to add to the site, as we head into the slow summer DVD rental season.
April 10: The big news is that bricks and mortar rental giant Blockbuster announced it may file for bankrupcy--in the past year sales fell 20% and losses mounted to $558 million. Blockbuster is working with its bankers and closing marginal stores, so is unlikely to disappear entirely, but it's in for tough times ahead. This has not as yet impacted Blockbusters' mail or video on demand services, which should remain the most profitable sector of the business.
March 10: We've completed our annual major review, going through and visiting each site to update prices, inventory sizes, special offers, etc. In the process we discovered the smallish company NumberSlate had gone out of business (as ever we keep our old reviews as they were for posterity, with a simple notation at the top that they have since closed). This brings the total US DVD rental services down from 16 to 15.
February 10: Nothing new to add this month in the world of DVD rental.
January 10: Happy 2010--nothing major to report this month, though we did note a press release that Netflix has reached 12 million subscribers, which is pretty impressive. We also updated our review to reflect their increase from 39 to 50 distributioin centers and the fact that over 97% of the US population, up from the previous 95%, are now within a day's mailing to one of these centers.
December 09: No major updates to report this month, though we suggest stocking your queue with a festive film or two for the holidays (in fact The Holiday remains one of our recent favorites for this time of year).
November 09: In browsing though Anime Takout, we noticed they'd put up their prices significantly, but we think they remain the best source for niche anime and Asian films which are difficult to find elsewhere.
October 09: Little new to add in the world of DVD rental this month.
September 09: Back to school time, and back to higher traffic and interest in US DVD rentals, but nothing new as yet to report.
August 09: The slowest month of the year for DVD rental is upon us ... appropriately, we've got nothing to update this month.
July 09: No site or major DVD industry changes this month to report.
June 09: Little new to report as we enter into summer, traditionally the worse time of year for DVD rentals (not surprising as people are outside taking advantage of the good weather, or on vacation with their kids off school, etc.) Rest assured, when you get back from summer vacation, we'll still be here, making sense of the American DVD rental industry so you can make the best choices as an informed consumer.
May 09: Again, no major changes this month, though we'll track the rumor that Netflix may start streaming to the PS3 and possibly Wii.
April 09: No major site updates this month--not after the many content and design changes last month.
March 09: Not much new to report this month, though we did redesign our website, widening it from 800 to 1,000 pixels. Our tracking shows that only 3% of visitors have a display with under 1,000 pixels, so we felt it was a good time to upgrade. This allows us to include extras like a sidebar beside our main table with definitions for the fields we use. We can also use some larger fonts and such, and hope the site is more functional and more modern looking as a result.
We've also gone across the sites we review and done a general update on inventory numbers and such, something we do periodically to keep the site as current as possible. Again, if you notice any changes to the DVD rental companies we review which we haven't yet picked up on, feel free to email us and we'll make any needed updates. We noticed that Peerflix and Huntingflix have gone out of business, bringing the total US DVD rental sites from 18 to 16.
February 09: This month we've also introduced a blog, to closely track developments in the DVD rental industry. We've also populated the blog with our site updates here going back to the start, so it will serve as an archive of changes to the industry as well. We hope visitors find it useful
January 2009: Nothing new to report as yet in the new year, but we'll continue to watch the US DVD market closely, and will be launching an industry blog in the next few days.
Happy renting in 2009!
December 2008: GamzNFlix, long troubled and unable to pay its debts, is now out of business (or at least their domain name is closed and up for sale). They had offered a cheap games and DVD service which sounded good in theory, but unfortunately they were never very good in practice. This brings the number of US DVD rental sites down to its lowest yet, 18.
November 2008: Netflix is back in the news, set to offer its video on demand (VOD) offerings to Tivo owners (some 3 million plus)--see our sister VOD site review of Netflix for more info. They also announced they will stop renting out HD-DVDs from December 15th, focusing exclusively on the winner of the format war, Blu-ray.
October 2008: The big news this month is that Netflix is charging an extra buck for subscriptions that include high definition Blu-ray discs, and their subscribers reached 8.7 million.
September 2008: We conducted a major site update, going through and scrubbing all the various tariffs and rejiggering some rankings. We noticed another two companies had gone out of business--Cinema Asia and Intelliflix. This brings the total US DVD rental sites down to 19. We also noted Flickety Fit has merged with DanceFlix to form KineticFlix, the only DVD rental service specifically catering to fitness, sports, and dance interests.
We also finished research and trials on our new guide to legal download services for film and TV--check out Video-on-Demand-Guide.com.
June 2008: We noticed trading site iLetYou had gone out of business, which brings the total US DVD rental sites (to our knowledge) down to 21.
April 2008: Again, no major changes to report this April Fools Day (no, really), but we'll keep our eyes peeled.
January 2008: No major changes to the DVD rental industry to report as yet, but we look forward to continuing to monitor events in the new year.
November 2007: We launched DVD-Rental-Guide.us as a resource providing information and customer comments on the (currently 22) American DVD rental sites. We've been monitoring the American market since late 2005, just hadn't gotten around to finishing the guide. But now that we have, we plan on making monthly updates as needed, and will note the changes in this What's New section. Please email us if you notice any discrepancies, and we'll fix them.