After weeks of rumors at what sounded like a Netflix/Qwikster competitor, Dish Network unveiled a new suite of services for its exisiting customers and new ones, too. And it will combine a lot of stuff it had already offered.
Not that it’s a bad thing.
For $10 a month, the new “Blockbuster Movie Pass” will deliver a subscription video service will deliver more than 100,000 movies, TV shows and games via mail and in stores (if you still have an open Blockbuster near you). The new service kicks off Oct. 1.
You can swap games and movies as much as you want. You can return titles to a Blockbuster store, but you can’t get another title in the store. You have to wait for the next one to come in the mail. Bummer.
The subscription comes as part of the Dish satellite service. It also includes about 4,000 streaming titles to the PC and TV.
New subscribers to $40/month Dish’s America’s Top 200 plan will get access to the Movie Pass free for one year. And all of this comes in one bill.
Dish also introduced a new slogan: “One company, one bill for everything you need in digital entertainment.”
For now, the packages are only for the 14 million or so current and new Dish subscribers, but there will be packages upcoming for non-Dish subs, too.
The question is, will this create new subs for Dish? The old Blockbuster streaming service had about 1.5 million users, versus about 24 million who use Netflix. Limiting it only to Dish customers, at least initially, may also limit Dish’s penetration but may give it a chance to work out any kinks before it launches to the general public. The price, though, seems right, undercutting what Netflix/Qwikster cost together, but the streaming content side needs to be beefed up. It’s not close to Netflix — 4,000 streaming titles versus more than more than 17,000 — and Netflix’s streaming leaves a lot to be desired. There’s a lot of stuff there that won’t make you go “Wow.”