This story was written by Rafat Ali.
Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI), which recently abandoned its foolish quest to buy Circuit City, is now on to the next thing, which it has been talking about for the last year: its digital re-invention. The company has a strong presence at Comic-Con going on this week in San Diego, and is also demo-ing its digital kiosks, reports Home Media magazine. It has talked about these kiosks before...they are being tested in select Blockbuster stores in the Dallas area, and plans are to roll it out country-wide in the next three years. These kiosks allow consumers to download movies to portable devices in less than two minutes, though for now, it only works on Archos portable media devices.
Another part of its digital hope: Movielink. It is quietly beta testing a new version of the online movie service, which will be incorporated into a revamped Blockbuster site later this summer. The story say this new site will have about 85,000 DVD titles for rent by mail (including Blockbuster's all-in-one Total Access program); 30,000 new and used DVDs for purchase; more than 4,500 downloadable digital movies for purchase and 2,000 digital movies for rent. That is still small, on all fronts, compared to its rival Netflix.
The company also recently hired a new VP of studio relation and digital media, a new position for the company. Longtime Warner Bros. exec Jeffrey Calman is the new VP based in LA.
By Rafat Ali