As expected, Blockbuster has released a new application that allows consumers to view movies on mobile devices. For now, the app is only compatible with the T-Mobile HTC HD2 phone, but Blockbuster says Android compatibility is on the horizon.
Users can access BB’s 10,000 film-strong digital catalog and either rent or purchase titles via the app. Pricing starts at $1.99 for rentals and rises to $3.99 for new release titles. Scott Levin, VP of digital at Blockbuster feels that the pricing and experience the new service offers is similar to that of BB’s stores. Said Levin:
“There are pieces of the business that are going to change, but we are bringing the same experiences to customers and our users through partnerships with studios and mobile companies,”
Levin went on to say that titles that are purchased through the streaming service will also be viewable on compatible home theater systems. According to Levin:
“Consumers get caught up worrying about D.R.M. [digital rights management] and formats . . . What we’re building will work across devices.”
Levin also managed to get in a bit of gloating over Blockbuster’s recent deal that gives it exclusivity on Warner titles for the first month they are available. Said Levin:
“There’s a lot of great stuff going on out here, streaming back catalog titles like Netflix is going to do . . . But this is a new-releases game. We’re talking the hot titles.”
Is Blockbuster putting too much stock in the public’s willingness to pay for and watch video on tiny screens, Insiders? Or will this new channel take off and justify their efforts? Give us your take in the comments.
(via The New York Times)