August 18, 2009

Blockbuster To Offer Movies On Motorola Cellphones

In a move to attract customers who have abandoned traditional video rental stores, Blockbuster said on Tuesday that it plans to offer movies that can be viewed on Motorola cell phones.

The decision marks the struggling video rental company's first move into mobile video, where it joins a growing number of companies offering video services on cell phones.

Mobile phone subscribers can currently view video clips on the mobile version of Google Inc.'s YouTube, while iPhone users can rent movies from Apple's iTunes store.  Verizon Wireless also offers its V Cast service, starting at $15 per month, which allows viewers to watch sports, news and comedy clips on their cell phones.
Blockbuster did not reveal many details about its new plan, which would expand its OnDemand service currently offered through set-top boxes for TV viewing.  The company did not disclose when the new service would be available, or how much it will cost.  However, Kevin Lewis, Blockbuster's vice president for digital entertainment, said "thousands" of titles would be available.

Blockbuster has been looking to find new revenue sources amid declining traffic at its movie rental stores wanes as customers flock to online video and rental-by-mail services like Netflix.

Blockbuster's recently announced alliance with Samsung Electronics would let customers rent movies with their remote control on Samsung's latest high-definition TVs.  The company had introduced a similar on-demand service earlier this year offered through TiVo Inc.'s digital video recorders.

In a separate move, Blockbuster has said it will open 10,000 DVD rental kiosks to compete with $1-per-day DVD rental firm Redbox.


On the Net: