Blockbuster will bring new in-store kiosks into some of its stores that enable lightning-quick downloads of movies. This is an example of the kind of strategies retailers are looking into to take advantage of space they may already control but no longer need as straight selling space. For Blockbuster, this also represents another attempt at trying to retain market share in the highly competitive home video market now that it's facing increased competition from mail DVD services and video on demand.
The sleek prototype kiosk unveiled Wednesday is just one way that Blockbuster is looking to deliver movies digitally. The design, which Keyes said is likely to change with testing, offers a range of features to help customers make movie choices, including previews and recommendations. Keyes said the company is working to reduce the download time for movies to about 30 seconds.
The company is also working on allowing customers to download movies through set-top boxes or Internet Protocol television, or IPTV.
The kiosk prototype, which will begin testing within the next three weeks, was developed by NCR Corp. For the pilot launch, the kiosks will be compatible with an Archos portable device, but the company ultimately plans for the kiosk to be an "open system" and widely compatible with a range of devices.
The CEO noted that Blockbuster plans to rely on third-party partners to minimize the company's investment in these initiatives.