Smart Move for Blockbuster25 Mar, 2009 By: Thomas K. Arnold
Smart move by Blockbuster, this teaming with TiVo to deliver movies online (see the Home Media Magazine story here). The chain's top man, Jim Keyes, has long said his ultimate goal is to turn Blockbuster from a rental giant into a one-stop source for anyone who wants to bring entertainment into the home, in whatever fashion: renting a DVD, buying a DVD, renting a Blu-ray Disc, buying a Blu-ray Disc, and even getting a movie digitally delivered. Now he's given this "fifth promise" a tremendous boost, by partnering with TiVo to allow it to deliver Blockbuster's 10,000-title digital movie library online to TiVo digital video recorders that are attached to TVs. "Ultimately, our vision is to work with TiVo so that their subscribers can access movies not only through our OnDemand service but also from our stores and through our by-mail services as well," Keyes said in a statement. As our senior editor, Erik Gruenwedel, correctly asserts in his story, "The shift by [Blockbuster] to integrate Blockbuster OnDemand (formerly Movielink) into TiVo DVRs would appear to be an attempt to usurp the digital rental market currently controlled by Netflix." But it's more than that--it's a fulfillment of Keyes' big picture vision for the chain, and one that, if successful, could extend the trouble rental chain's lease on life.