There was a time, in the not so distant past, when a trip out to your local video store with the family was a weekly or monthly treat. If you were fortunate enough to have a bigger video rental store that had multiple copies of new releases and thousands of DVDs on hand, there was a good chance you could find movies to suit everyone. But a few things have happened since those days that have rendered video rental stores all but obsolete.
For starters, big box outlets such as Blockbuster have been driven out of the bricks and mortar video rental business to seek salvation online. For most of us, our video stores are nothing more than corner convenience stores with a few hundred movies on hand at any time. Space is at a premium for these guys so they can only afford to have a few copies of new releases along with a smattering of older movie rental titles on hand at any time. It’s a bit frustrating to drive out only to find the movie you had your heart set on is always out.
In addition, next day returns and the inconvenience that it implies, usually finds us racking up late fees that often would have worked out cheaper for us if we’d bought the DVD instead. And what if you’re heading out on a road trip or to the cottage for a weekend – 24 hour rental periods just don’t cut it for a lot of us. And what about the actual rental fee? $3 or more per movie rental? Everyone with a cable or satellite subscription has access to pay-per-view movie rentals, and the concept is quite sound. The downside is that typical pay-per-view rentals cost $5 or more. I’m not sure the convenience is worth that much more.
Maybe it’s time you rent movies online!
Why? Well, rather than run on about online movie rental and why it’s the right option for you, allow me to state my case with the following list of 10 Reasons It’s Time For You To Rent Movies Online!
1. Selection. If you rent movies online from instant movie streaming or DVD by mail providers, you will generally have access to anywhere from a few thousand up to 80,000+ movie and TV titles to choose from. Your local video store probably can’t hold a match to that kind of selection.
2. Availability. In all but a few rare exceptions, the movie you want is always available. Most DVD by mail services have hundreds of copies of individual movie titles on hand. Instant movie streaming services like Netflix have no limitation on how many subscribers watch individual movie titles. If you rent movies online, your favorites are almost always available.
3. Savings. When you rent movies online from DVD by mail services, they typically have subscription plans that allow several DVD rentals, some even unlimited, per month for monthly fees as low as $5.95. Even if you only rent movies online only twice per month, you are already ahead. With instant video streaming services, typical plans run from about $8+ per month or, if you opt for a per rental provider such as iTunes or YouTube, you will typically pay $0.99 – $3.99 per online movie rental. Though the latter may be close in price to what you are currently paying at your local video store, you need to factor in both points 1 and 2 (Selection, Availability) and, more importantly, point 4 which is “Convenience”.
4. Convenience. Your local video outlet or convenience store will never be as easy for you as when you rent movies online. Bottom line – shopping for an online movie rental from your computer, tablet or TV means you never have to leave the house for movie night again. And online movie rental providers are open 24/7 which means, you can rent movies online anytime you want, day or night, from just about anywhere. Instant video streaming services allow you to choose a movie and start watching right away. DVD by mail services will deliver movies to your mailbox, for free, within 1 – 3 days.
5. No late fees – ever! This is a big one for me and perhaps for you as well. When you rent movies online from instant video streaming services you generally have up to 30 days to start watching your movie and 24 to 48 hours to watch it as often as you like. After that period has elapsed, the rental is automatically deleted from your rental library. If you rent movies from an unlimited subscription provider such as Netflix then there is no limitation on the number of times you watch a movie and you never have to remember to return it. On the DVD by mail side, they don’t have due dates or late fees. Instead, they usually put a cap on how many DVD movies you can rent at one time. You can hold on to them for days, weeks or months and send them back when you are done. This is especially handy when renting children’s movies as, we all know, they could watch the same movie several times a day for days on end.
6. Browsing. Your local video store will generally have a wall or section devoted to new releases. The rest of their catalog will either be organized alphabetically or by genre or not at all. Browsing for movie titles can take hours if you’re undecided. When you rent movies online, all providers offer easy to use websites that allow you to search for movies alphabetically, by genre, by year, by director, by actor, by rating and more. Picking a movie to watch online is a cinch.
7. TV Shows and special genres. I know this kind of falls under “Selection” but the fact is, most smaller video stores just don’t stock Seasons of your favorite TV shows. And they generally don’t carry much in the way of Foreign Language films, Documentaries or more obscure movies.
8. Interactive features. One nice thing about online movie rentals when browsing your provider’s website is the ability to watch trailers, read viewer reviews and many also offer a suggestion feature that will provide you with similar titles for you to check out.
9. Flexibility. When you rent movies online for download or to watch instantly, you have a myriad of options as far as devices go. You can watch on Internet enabled TVs, BluRay players, gaming consoles such as Wii – Xbox – PS3, PC, Mac, tablets and other handheld devices. Granted, not all services allow you to stream on all of these devices, but you definitely aren’t limited to just watching on your TV.
10. Options. Most small towns or neighborhoods may only have a few video rental stores for you to choose from and most with more or less the same selection and pricing. When you rent movies online, you have more options at your disposal. You are free to choose a DVD by mail or instant movie streaming provider and if you don’t like their selection or service you can try out a host of other providers. None of them have long term contracts to bind you to their service.
And, although this is supposed to be a list of 10 reasons to rent movies online, here is one more. Many online movie rental services offer free trial periods from 2 weeks to 1 month so you can test out whether or not you like the service.