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Report: Cash-Strapped Consumers Turning to Home Entertainment

4 Jun, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

With gasoline prices above $4 a gallon throughout much of the United States, 87% of consumers in a new survey said they would turn to renting DVD movies and video games for their home entertainment needs.

The survey, conducted in April by e-Rewards.com for Blockbuster Inc., found 79% of respondents felt renting a movie was a good economic value, and 76% said watching movies was a good diversion from the realities of life.

Joyce Woodward, SVP, rental film with Blockbuster, said with the tough economic climate, consumers eye movie rentals along with watching TV and playing video games among the top five entertainment-related activities.

The top five activities considered expendable for family budget cutbacks include eating out, attending concerts and plays, taking vacations and watching movies at the mall.

“Renting a movie is a low-cost, high-entertainment-value option that many families turn to as a fun activity to do together,” Woodward said.

Separately, Blockbuster has initiated an aggressive online marketing campaign (“Why Try Blockbuster by Mail?”) for its by-mail service, which includes a comparison chart with rival Netflix Inc.

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