Blockbusters Stocks Plummet As Bankruptcy Nears, Meanwhile Redbox Offers Free Movies For Facebook Fans, And Netflix Is Working On An Improved Xbox Interface [Video Rental Wars]

In the world of film rental and online streaming, it’s a war out there, and now it’s even getting bloodier.

First, coming on the heels of stories reporting that the rental giant, Blockbuster, may be beating on the door of bankruptcy, news just keeps getting worse for the company. According to the AP, shares of the company have fallen 6.3 cents today, which is roughly 23%, all the way down to 21 cents this past afternoon. The stock has been below $1 since the fall of 2009, and has been declining rather rapidly since.

However, this also comes after CEO Jim Keyes openly ripped his main competitor, Netflix, for its outdated content, and also proclaiming superiority as they have the much talked about 28 day exclusive window. That said, this hasn’t fallen on deaf ears, and has Netflix more than a little angered.

‘Blockbuster didn’t stay with new releases by choice,’ said a source talking to FastCompany. ‘Movie studios have Blockbuster where they want them ‘“ they know Blockbuster is not in any position to negotiate because of their financial position.’

Bombs away. Netflix membership, unlike that of Blockbusters, actually went up last quarter, a robust 35%, as only a rumored 30% of Netflix users actually use it to rent new releases. The remaining 70% are used to rent what both Blockbuster and Redbox consider to be outdated.

Speaking of that red colored bastard of a machine, the kiosk/vending machine/whatever you want to call it, is pulling out all the stops to get users to join their service.

According to B2C Marketing Insider, the company is offering Facebook fans a coupon for one free rental, as long as you are a fan of their Facebook page. While I personally am on a personal boycott (won’t you join me) of the company, and really have been since it was conceived, as I have only used it twice in my life, this does nothing for me. However, I know that a lot of people use this, so this is definitely a great deal.

That said, with E3 upon us, Netflix has a card up their sleeves as well.

According to Gizmodo, XBOX 360 users (who just got a brand new, 250GB version of their baby announced) will now actually be able to search Netflix on their console. A feature that has been desperately asked for by any and every user of the application, will be hitting our console this November. Personally, this will hopefully make its way to Wii soon, but if not, this is certainly a great feature for XBOX users.

All in all, it looks like we are far from declaring a winner in this war, but it’s starting to get really, really heated.

Source: AP / FastCompany / B2C Marketing Insider / Gizmodo

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