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Blockbuster Unveils Kiosk Prototype, Testing Digital Delivery

28 May, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

Blockbuster unveiled its in-store kiosk prototype during an investor meeting May 28, but chairman and CEO James Keyes said the company is still negotiating with studios over the content.

The company is also beta-testing digital delivery on Blockbuster.com, Keyes said, and Blockbuster is also working on its own set-top box initiative to compete with Netflix's new at-home streaming service.

The kiosks, which will be tested in select Blockbuster stores in June, allow consumers to download movies to portable devices in less than two minutes. Currently the downloads work only with Archos portable media devices. However, Blockbuster is aiming to have its kiosks eventually download to most portable media devices. The company hopes to roll out the kiosks to all stores within three years.

Keyes also mentioned the proposed $1 billion takeover of electronics retailer Circuit City, but he did not offer a timeline.

“Acquiring Circuit City aligns with our goals to expand our product offering and provide customers with complete entertainment solutions,” a company representative said in the investor presentation.

Besides striving for a larger presence in the digital realm, Blockbuster is redesigning some stores to better emphasize games and electronic sales. The company is also upping Blu-ray Disc's presence in its stores, with more demonstration displays and players next to the software.

Blockbuster also shared statistics showing that by stocking more new releases at its brick-and-mortar stores, the company saw positive, domestic same-store rental sales for the first time in five years.

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