November 6, 2008 / 12:49 AM / 11 years ago

Blockbuster tests pricing

LOS ANGELES, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Blockbuster Inc BBI.N said on Wednesday it has been conducting extensive tests for some months to explore pricing and terms for its rental offerings.

Blockbuster said it had made no decisions about what adjustments would be made to current rental prices and terms.

In a test market in Florida, it was offering three different levels of membership, including one in which it enables customers to rent DVDs by the day, another membership which lets customers rent by the week plus get the benefits of a rewards program for a $20 annual fee, and an unlimited offering, which lets customers rent unlimited movies and/or games “by the month” for a monthly subscription fee.

Currently Blockbuster now offers two-day rentals on new releases for about $5 and slightly older releases for seven days at slightly lower prices. Blockbuster removed all late fees on Jan. 1, 2005, which provides a one-week goodwill period on its two-day and seven day rentals.

As part of its tests, Blockbuster has also introduced “demand pricing,” which simply means the movies that are in the most demand rent for $4.99, while movies still on the store’s new release wall are priced at $3.99, while classic older movies will rent for about 99 cents.

Blockbuster said it was working to give more flexibility and control to customers.

The nation’s leading DVD rental company will report third quarter earnings on Thursday. Last month, it said it was comfortable with analysts’ third quarter estimates and repeated its full year forecasts. The company said previously that third-quarter domestic same-store revenue rose 5.1 percent with domestic same-store rental revenue up 0.8 percent. (Reporting by Sue Zeidler; Editing by Andre Grenon)

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