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Blockbuster Expands E-Commerce

23 May, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

As expected, Blockbuster Inc. has begun beta testing an e-commerce function on its Web site that allows users to purchase new and used DVDs.

Blockbuster Outlet last week showcased as new releases D?j? Vu (Disney), Alpha Dog and The Secret Life of Words (Universal), One More Round (Image) and Suicide Killers (City Light Pictures) for $21.99 ($20.89 for Total Access members).

Used-movie sale options included The Matador (The Weinstein Co.) and Madea's Family Reunion (Lionsgate) for $9.99 ($8.99 Total Access) or new for $16.99 ($16.14).

Catalog titles are priced as little as $4.99.

Movie-sellthrough options are divided into six subsections, including new releases, top sellers, categories, collections, gift ideas and price.

A separate “Friends and Family” link allows users to recommend and rate movie titles.

Blockbuster chairman and CEO John Antioco has said Blockbuster Online would redouble efforts this year to expand incremental revenue opportunities, including DVD sales, movie downloads, streaming and third party advertising.

Blockbuster spokesperson Randy Hargrove denied, however, a published report that the rental service was in serious discussions with BrightSpot Media, an Arizona-based service that rewards online viewers of third-party advertising.

According to Business 2.0, Blockbuster subscribers could earn free movies if they watched a certain number of online ads and answered questions about them.

The article cited BrightSpot's relationships with Major League Baseball (MLB.com) and the National Basketball Association (NBA.com), where for 30 and 40 BrightSpot ads viewed, respectively, users earned one-month access to MLB.com and 30 days of NBA game broadcasts on the Web.

“We're not sure where that story came from,” said Hargrove. “We have no deal with BrightSpot Media.”

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