After getting reamed by Q3 losses and basically conceding the online rental space to Netflix, Blockbuster looked to be refocusing on its B&M stores, ironically signified by its installation of in-store digital rental kiosks. So naturally its next move is mobile phones. Yeah. Says CEO James Keyes:
We're talking with virtually all of the major manufacturers about the opportunity to provide greater mobility and convenience... The challenge is how do I make this convenient for everybody.
They're also chatting up a number of software companies about partnerships. Apparently, the idea came to Keyes after he got a tech to download some stuff from Movielink onto his Blackberry.
Which, it's a nice idea, but Blockbuster's past forays into other distribution channels haven't gone so smoothly, to put it mildly. Moreover, the installation of digital kiosks for portable media players inside of B&M stores indicates to me they don't quite "get" what digital distribution is all about.
They do have to branch out beyond B&M if they want to survive in the next few years, that's true—true IP VOD will be a killstroke—but I don't know if making it easier to put movies on your mobile phone is Blockbuster's golden ticket. It might be a start, if they get it right for a change. [Reuters, Flickr]