Blockbuster To Rent Movies Via SD Card

Posted: Nov 10 2009, 12:49pm CST | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 5:23pm CDT, in News | Technology News

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An old, lumbering giant takes a shaking step forward into the future today. Blockbuster, king of the VHS and DVD era, is trying to move into the digital age by creating a series of kiosks capable of loading movies onto SD cards. Customers will be able to 'rent' DRM-loaded movies with a set expiration date, claims Fast Company. These kiosks will be marketed for smartphone and laptop viewing, so expect to see a lot of them in airports soon.

So, will this latest move help Blockbuster to compete with the growing success of streaming movies (like Netflix's Watch Instantly option) and services like iTunes? I doubt it. Blockbuster will be charging a lot, in the neighbourhood of $4 a film. That doesn't come close to being a competitive price, yet another sign of Blockbuster's inability to get with the times. They're going to have to get used to lowered profit margins; the business has changed.

The kiosks themselves look pretty nice, and the idea itself is a great one. When I'm travelling around with my laptop and netbook, I have access to multiple SD cards but no optical drive. With the huge popularity of ultraportables and netbooks, my situation is far from unique. Offering movie rentals via SD is a really convenient thing, but they're going to have to cut down that price. I could see $4 per rental being fair, IF they give users the option of a subscription plan that rivals Netflix for cost.

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