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In its latest refusal to go quietly into the night, Blockbuster has announced a partnership with wireless carrier T-Mobile for an OnDemand movie download service.
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The first device the service will be available on will be the HTC HD2 smart phone, which hits stores on March 24. Additional phones from Motorola are also expected to offer the service by year’s end.

Blockbuster’s new mobile OnDemand service will offer a catalog of 10,000 titles, with pricing set at $1.99 for older films and $4.99 for new releases. Titles will also be offered for sale at between $10 and $20.

Michelle Metzger, a spokeswoman for Blockbuster consulted by TheWrap, said that her company’s motivation behind the new service is to put movie rentals wherever customers want them. Said Metzger:

“It’s a matter of consumer convenience, however consumers want to watch a movie is where we will position ourselves,”

Blockbuster will already have a rival for its new service in mSpot, which has been in operation since last fall and has already signed licensing agreements with several major studios. An advantage held by mSpot over Blockbuster is that the former’s service runs on multiple carriers and dozens of devices, including the extremely popular iPhone, Blackberry and Android smart phones. mSpot’s catalog, though featuring popular newer films such as Inglourious Basterds and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, is far smaller than Blockbuster’s at about 600 titles.

Long-time BB rival Netflix has thus far declined to enter the mobile phone space with its streaming service. Company spokesperson Steve Swasey says that one major reason for this is the tiny screen size of mobile devices. Said Swasey:

“Right now, our members can watch trailers and preview movies on phones, but we just think that people prefer bigger screens, even if we’re talking about laptops . . . We want to be ubiquitous across all platforms, but we think whether its watching long-form content or even TV episodes, people just prefer the big screen.
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Does renting and watching movies at $2 to $5 a pop on your cell phone sound like a good idea to you, Insiders? Have any of you used mSpot’s service, and if so, what were your impressions? Hit the comments and give us your opinion.

(via TheWrap)

18 Responses to “Blockbuster to Offer Cell Phone Movie Rentals”

  1. Member [Join Now]
    MovieWatcherSupreme [moviewatchersupreme]

    I can’t see myself watching a movie on my cell phone, with the obvious reason of the screen being to small. We are talkin’ a major headache focusing on something like that for so long. Now the smart thing to do would be to extend this to the iPad, I could see myself watching a movie on that. Even if cell phone’s develop the technology to link to a larger screen, we are going to be operating at a similar cell network bandwidth for quite some time. I can only imagine the terrible quality of a movie on a cell phone. The whole 3G and 4G shows promise, but it is still nowhere near HD streaming, which would be ideal when hooking up to a larger screen.

  2. Visitor [Join Now]
    FooBar [visitor]

    “Does renting and watching movies at $2 to $5 a pop on your cell phone sound like a good idea to you”
    Its a real retarded idea. I can rent a DVD for $1 and BlueRay for $2 without subscribing to cell phone service.

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Firstlawofnature [visitor]

      BBI will dominate this $13mm market.

    • Member [Join Now]
      ChadCronin [chadcronin]

      btw it’s Blu-ray. Please correct yourself in the future.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        FalconFour [visitor]

        Why all the thumbs-down? At least someone said it. It’s like fingernails on chalkboard to see someone calling it “blueray” or “bluray” or “blue-ray” or any of the other millions of incorrect combinations I see people tossing around.

        I’ve got to agree, though… if I watch a movie on that cramped, tiny-ass screen, it’d damn better be either free or unnoticeably cheap. Although I do hope to see it extended to the iPad, which, while it isn’t the most perfect device to watch them on, is a whole lot better than a 2″ screen.

      • Member [Join Now]
        MovieWatcherSupreme [moviewatchersupreme]

        What does it matter, we are all referring to the same thing, it’s not like there is more than one blu-ray. Although I see your point, people using the word Blue as in color, when there is nothing blue about it except for the disk color. I could call it by it’s technical name but nobody would like that.

      • Visitor [Join Now]
        FooBar [visitor]

        BLUE-Violet laser used to read BLUE Ray discs. You are obviously not an engineer and do not understand marketing, but will always fall for for all the marketing gimmicks.

  3. Visitor [Join Now]
    Eric Draven [visitor]

    $4.99 rentals to any phone will be a big failure. It seems the studios are stuck on this $5 to $6 price point for any on demand streaming of new titles. This will continue to be a big mistake.

  4. Member [Join Now]
    jakoblin [jakoblin]

    Hello everyone , I just google the HTC HD2 smart phone.

    which clearly state that the phone support sd card .

    Now anyone who have know that if you have a pc that support sd card .

    you can watch movies on your pc or transfer the movie to a Ipod or Ipad

    this is the web site that state it support sd card.

    • Member [Join Now]
      MovieWatcherSupreme [moviewatchersupreme]

      I can do that with blue tooth as well. My old phone also had a type of memory card. Actually many modern phones have some type of storage card and/or pc connectivity. Small screen is still terrible for your eyes though.

  5. Visitor [Join Now]
    Mike [visitor]

    I don’t know why anyone would want to pay to watch movies on their cell phone. The screen is way too small and I don’t know how you’d enjoy it.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    T [visitor]

    4.99 for a movie to watch only on your phone? I don’t think so! That’s charging way too much to watch a movie on a tiny phone. If it were 99 cents or something, then I would consider it, but I won’t even give it a second look being so expensive just to watch on my little phone.

  7. Visitor [Join Now]
    angry jerry [visitor]

    stupid idea fire blockbuster ceo right now.

  8. Member [Join Now]

    Hi All

    I am a student of Design Ethnography at the University of Dundee and I am currently researching the future of movies (DVD rental versus DVD purchase versus downloading). I would be highly obliged if I can interact with you guys on your thoughts regarding the same.

    Such discussions are so informative for me. Just wanted to thank you all. However, I would be highly interested in an extended interaction on the issue. Especially, the plans of NCR to launch a download kiosk.

    You can contact me at or skype me at dhruvsharma101.