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As it gets closer to achieving its goal of 10,000 installed Blockbuster Express kiosks by the end of the year, NCR appears to be at a crossroads with the direction it will take going forward. On a call with investors last week, NCR CEO Bill Nuti said that “he would not look beyond implementation of the remaining 3,500 Express kiosks nationwide.”

According to Nuti:

“The hurdle rates get higher over time from our perspective because we do feel strongly that other channels to market going forward might be better investments for the company . . . But we’re not going to make that determination until we get towards the end this year. Right now, we’ve got to get 10,000 done and 10,000 put in the right places . . . If we wanted to, we could ramp up faster, but right now it’s about making smart choices on deployment,”

In addition to or instead of expanding its kiosk footprint further, NCR is considering digital options such as streaming and downloads. According to NCR EVP John Bruno:

“We’re looking at the core investments of what it is we need to do to deliver it into a portable format . . . Then we will make investments as we see the market unfold. We see that’s going to be a market that’s going to continue to grow and have pretty deep technical demands.”

Wedbush Morgan analyst Edward Woo believes that the recent departure of NCR Entertainment’s SVP (and former Redbox exec) Alex Camara, along with “apprehensive comments” about the kiosk business from other NCR execs could be telling. Said Woo:

“Replacing their entertainment division head indicates they are not bullish (like Redbox), and it may be a signal that they are going to significantly slow down DVD investment in 2011,”

What will the next few months hold for BB Express, Insiders? Is its future brighter than its namesake brick-and-mortar chain’s? Is a myopic march towards an arbitrary mark of 10,000 kiosks the best move NCR could be making? Visit the comments and tell us what you think.

(via Home Media Magazine)

14 Responses to “Blockbuster Express Faces Uncertain Future”

  1. Member [Join Now]

    They should expand fast and be broke just like that donut franchise : krispies

  2. Member [Join Now]

    I’ve seen some people rent from these machines but not nearly as many as people have with Redbox. I guess we’ll see what happens

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    RJF [visitor]


    • Visitor [Join Now]
      RJF Jr [visitor]

      How could you have been charged if the machine could not read your credit card?

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        Jesi [visitor]

        She probably reserved it online with her credit/debit card and then when go to the machine it couldnt read her card. They will still charge you if you dont pick the movie up.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    tinybrat [visitor]

    I haven’t seen a BB machine yet. We have a half million people here. Probably 200 redbox machines, 0 BB machines. If they have 6,500 machines installed already, I’m at a loss as to where they all are.

  5. Member [Join Now]

    I’ve seen two BB machines so far in the Milwaukee area, and I have to drive past at least two Redboxes in order to get to the closest one. Haven’t tried it yet, but I do have a promo code for BB that I might try in the near future. I don’t think the competition is a bad thing, but BB needs to figure out what they want to do and where they want to go, or they’re going to lose all the good locations to Redbox, and they’ll be doomed to failure.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Davis Freeberg [visitor]

    NCR is kind of in a prickly position with the kiosks because they’re using the Blockbuster brand to promote their DVD rentals. This makes it more difficult to invest in digital streaming and DVD by mail because it encroaches on Blockbuster’s turf and they’d need to figure out a way to brand these programs. Without a DVD by mail component, they’ll have a tough time getting the studios to charge reasonable prices for the streaming content and without streaming content, the kiosks will eventually become obsolete.

  7. Member [Join Now]

    There are now 6 blockbuster express around fort wayne indiana. i hit the one on sherman today and just laughed at what they offfed. nothing but old junk. i think the newest movie they had was 3 or 4 weeks old and only had like 2 movies coming out tomorrow . now if they get their act together it be another story.. I do feel sorry for Family video that is down the road from it

    We now have

    REDBOX at walgreens at wells and state
    Redbox at scotts a t state and sherman
    Redbox at gas station (circle K) state and sherman (I think)
    Blockbuster express speedway sherman and some other road

    and family video at Sherman and goshen

    so we have 3 redboxes and 1 blockbuster express within a 3 mile range of family video… Redbox and BB express rentals are 1.00 per night family video is 2.79 per night

    If blockbuster express gets their act together and starts getting new releases out DAY 1 i would be very shocked to see Family video stay open by xmas

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Robert [visitor]

      I was doing Blockbuster kiosk loads for a few months until they suddenly cancelled 2 of my locations. 1 location I believe it was because it was in a grocery chain that had a contract with Coinstar and perhaps they were told that it wasn’t allowed.

      I do remember loading new releases of titles that Redbox did not get for 2-3 weeks later. So if you did not find anything new, it was probably out on rental. They do need to have more of each title available.

      I would rent from Blockbuster kiosks if they would expand more locations. My Redbox locations are not convienient enough for me.

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    Steve [visitor]

    The BB express machine close to me is always broken. We have 6 Redboxes around and only on BB Express… Do the math as to which one will survive.

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    Ryan [visitor]

    I live in Hillsboro Oregon (about 10 miles from Portland) and there are 16 BB express machines within a 15 mile radius of me, 1 of which is within walking distance. All of them are located in a Safeway store, so they are indoor only. The machines are pretty cool as they have a tv screen on them which displays trailers of the movies you are browsing. There are a lot more Redbox machines though as we have them outside every McDonalds, Albertsons and 7-11 here. They are always busy so I’ve been using the BB machine a lot recently but more and more people must be as well since 1/2 of the movies are rented every time I browse. Either way its more choice for the consumer and that is always a good thing.

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    RJK [visitor]

    Blockbuster has had a good ride….NOW GO AWAY!!!!