A Blockbuster set-top box?

Blockbuster VideoBlockbuster is about to take the next step in retaining its market share, according to The Hollywood Reporter. After starting up a DVD rental mail service to combat Netflix years ago, the chain is rumored to announce the release of a set-top box for streaming video rental later this month.

Though the company has denied comment, Channel Web has it that Karen Raskopf, a spokesperson for Blockbuster, has said, “We’re talking to numerous companies and vendors about products, services, alliances and initiatives that can help us achieve our mission to transform Blockbuster into a company that provides access to media content across multiple channels — from our stores, by mail, through kiosks, through downloading, through portable content-enabled devices– so it’s not surprising that there are rumors out there.”

This move would make a lot of sense, as the burgeoning field of online and streaming rentals has already begun hitting Blockbuster, as well as other brick and mortar rental stores, hard. In January, Netflix announced that it was developing a set-top box with LG Electronics and Apple announced that iTunes would have a rental model (a move which sent Blockbuster’s stock plummeting).

Blockbuster is poised to do well with this offering, despite competition from the likes of Apple TV and DVR services. With its place in the market and the use of its recent acquisition of Movielink (with which the set-top box is logically rumored to be connected), Blockbuster stands to offer a wider variety of rentals than most of its competitors. Though this is at least the second time Blockbuster has been the Johnny-come-lately to game-changing ideas in the world of film rentals, if they can utilize their enormous catalog and brand identity the way they did with their mail service, there’s little doubt it will be successful.

Posted on April 12, 2008 at 14:00 by JasonS@MovieMakeout · Permalink
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