Hundreds of DVDs Available as Mail-Order Rentals

Hollywood is now cranking out DVD titles at a rate of more than one per day, but rental outlets have only a few of the most popular titles in stock. This is clearly a problem for home-theater owners and movie fans looking for new material.

Enter NetFlix, a recently introduced Internet service offering DVD rentals through the mail. "Most DVD owners are hard-pressed to find a convenient place that rents a wide selection of DVD movies," according to NetFlix President Marc Randolph. NetFlix stocks well over 90% of the 1000+ film titles now available on DVD.

NetFlix will rent any title for $5 plus shipping, and deliver it anywhere in the US within two or three days. Renters may keep the disc for seven days before returning it. According to Randolph, rental prices per disc drop with larger orders. He says that NetFlix's research shows its potential customers are avid movie watchers who won't object to the waiting time before receiving their DVDs.

The company's "Like it/Keep it" program enables customers to purchase DVDs they have rented. Films can also be purchased directly, some discounted from their suggested retail prices.