business news in context, analysis with attitude

  • A new study by comScore Media Metrix says that 80 percent of the nation’s Internet users – or about 128 million people - are shopping online for the holidays this year. This figure is up almost 40 percent from October’s figures.

    Grocery and alcohol were identified by the study as being both among the top growing shopping categories as well as the fastest growing categories compared to last year. Omaha Steaks, for example, is seeing sales increases so far this holiday season of about 167 percent.

  • A war continues to rage in the online DVD rental business, as Blockbuster announced that it was lowering the subscription price for its online rental service by $2.50 to $14.99 a month plus tax effective immediately. This puts Blockbuster below Wal-Mart, which offers a monthly subscription for $15.54 a month, and category pioneer Netflix, which has a monthly price of $17.99.

    However, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said that he has no intention of trying to match the new Blockbuster price. He said that the Blockbuster move actually undermines its brick-and-mortar business, which is more expensive. “We have no plans to change our price," he said. "This low price will help Blockbuster online but it may also help Netflix by converting store-based renters into online renters."

KC's View:
We’re sticking with Netflix. The quality is great, the service terrific…and we like the idea of sticking with the company that essentially created the category.