If you can’t beat em…join em. The talk is that Blockbuster is negotiating to buy Movielink…I say it will either be a dream or a nightmare for Blockbuster.
There is no question that movie downloading is the future. The only question is who will learn how to execute successfully. So far the fledgling services Movielink, Cinemanow, Amazon’s Unbox Video Store and Netflix’s movie streaming service are all chugging along.
Out of all the players I think Blockbuster could be the winner but only if they make movie downloading a major priority. If they use their retail channel to drive downloads it can work. But this means them accepting the fact that over time very few will go to a retail store to buy or rent a DVD.
Unfortunately most large organizations rarely embrace a new way of doing business. I give Les Moonves a big thumbs up for his efforts. Les has a vision and he is managing CBS to maintain and grow existing revenue while moving quickly to embrace the new digital world.
As for John Antioco at Blockbuster I highly suggest, if he buys Movielink, he put a substantial amount of resources behind it. He started the Blockbuster Total Access, a competitor to Netflix, and we haven’t seen any great results from that.
I believe that the most successful movie downloading service will be one that partners with major retailers like Best Buy and Circuit City to sell the installation of a system to enable the consumer to download and then watch the movie on their big flat screen tv.
Remember Roy’s motto…the easier you make it for the customer to use your product the more they will buy