Blockbuster said to be developing Apple TV rival

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
In the latest bid to revitalize its fading brand amongst a flood of new competitors, movie rental house Blockbuster is said to be developing a set-top device for streaming films directly to TV sets.



"The device is believed to be a stand-alone product akin to Apple TV as opposed to embedding a Blockbuster-branded service in such existing devices as Microsoft's Xbox 360 or TiVo," reports Reuters.



A spokesperson for the world's largest movie rental service declined to comment on the specific product, but acknowledged that the company was in discussions with numerous companies over products and services that would help it achieve its goal of providing ubiquitous access to its extensive movie rental catalog.



Once content with serving customers only through its brick-and-mortar retail chain, Blockbuster's emerging vision is to deliver content through any and every means possible. This includes its stores, its mail order rental arm, in-store kiosks, online downloads, and portable content-enabled devices.



"So it's not surprising that there are rumors out there," the spokesperson said.



More specifically, Reuters said it believes the product will leverage Movielink, an online service acquired by Blockbuster for $6.6 million last year that allows users to rent, download, and watch flicks on their computers.



It notes, however, that Blockbuster's push towards streaming video presents the risk that it will cannibalize sales at the company's retail chain, which has long been its bread and butter. The Dallas, Texas-based firm would also need a "significant investment in marketing and manufacturing" to stir awareness and compete in an already crowded set-top-box market, which has yet to be fully received by consumers.



In addition to Apple TV, Blockbuster will also be forced to contend with rival online movie rental service Netflix, which said in January that it was teaming with electronics maker LG to develop its own set-top box for streaming movies and other programming directly from the Internet to high-definition television sets.



Shares of Blockbuster are currently trading in the $3.20 range after falling some 17 percent to an all-time closing low of $2.69 after Apple announced in January that it too was launching a movie rental model through iTunes.
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 58
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    They'll have to do this, or else they might not be around in 10 years.
  • Reply 2 of 58
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    I'm sure they'll do well with all their experience in software development and hardware design.
  • Reply 3 of 58
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,946member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    I'm sure they'll do well with all their experience in software development and hardware design.



    I think you missed the part of the story that said they weren't doing that to get the box.
  • Reply 4 of 58
    wircwirc Posts: 302member
    Even so, Movielink is an atrocity, so they have a lot of work ahead of them. At least the Netflix solution is specifically designed.
  • Reply 5 of 58
    Man if Apple doesn't pay attention to this elephant in the living room (meaning Blockbuster), it could mean the end of Apple TV.
  • Reply 6 of 58
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I think you missed the part of the story that said they weren't doing that to get the box.





    Yeah the MS approach with Zune. That worked out well.



    I agree that their future looks a bit on the bleak side. But I don't give this venture much chance of success at this point. Who knows maybe they'll prove me wrong.
  • Reply 7 of 58
    backtomacbacktomac Posts: 4,579member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Crtaylor View Post


    Man if Apple doesn't pay attention to this elephant in the living room (meaning Blockbuster), it could mean the end of Apple TV.



    Dude you got it all wrong.



    Blockbuster is the one with the vulnerable business model.
  • Reply 8 of 58
    Their store rental business is shrinking. Netflix is stomping on their direct by mail, Netflix and Apple are delivering more and more to the computer/Apple TV...



    Maybe they should just buy redbox and stick to retail.....
  • Reply 9 of 58
    rot'napplerot'napple Posts: 1,839member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Crtaylor View Post


    Man if Apple doesn't pay attention to this elephant in the living room (meaning Blockbuster), it could mean the end of Apple TV.



    I have a blockbuster movie rental card and when it was all the fad I rented a few movies and...



    Then I wanted to rent a movie from Blockbusters and got out my card, it was so old and inactive, I had to reapply so I could rent my movie. I did, saw that movie with friends, and...



    Let's just say I don't make it a "Blockbuster Night" at my house.



    Nothing against Blockbuster and or their attempt at an Appletv-like device or Netflix. I'm just not a big rent or download a movie, chillin on a Friday night, type of person. I will say from my experiences with Apple's hardware and software reputation, if I were looking for any such device be it Blockbuster's or NetFlix or TIVO, etc. I'd probably just choose Apple due to previous satisfaction with their efforts.



    And times are a changing and it's good to see that Blockbuster admits to that and that the inconvenience of driving to the video store to pickout a movie and then return is an outdated or soon will be, mode of delivering entertainment, when, with multiple options for the vast consumer market, there are easier ways to now view the latest movie releases. Now what will Blockbuster be doing with all thoses stores???
  • Reply 10 of 58
    The more competitors that get into this the more attention and legitimacy the concept will gain. At that point people will comparison shop. I think Apple will do well at that point.
  • Reply 11 of 58
    tri3tri3 Posts: 20member
    Still Block Buster right now blows the pants off Apple TV for content. Apple TV is so lacking it is silly.
  • Reply 11 of 58
    virgil-tb2virgil-tb2 Posts: 1,416member
    This whole thing is just another obvious "put-up" by the content companies. They whisper in BB's ear ... "Make a set-top box like AppleTV and we'll give you all the content you need." Since they are already in financial trouble, they agree.



    I really don't understand why the USA doesn't have laws against this sort of thing. How is it that for more than a year now, virtually all the leading content companies are able to arrange what can only be described as a cartel or oligopoly, where they engage in active collusion to destroy Apple's chance of success? How can they legally supply anything they want to their chosen flunkies and not sell the same thing to Apple? We all know it's immoral, but why isn't it illegal as well?



    Of course a company has the right to do business (or not) with anyone they want, but when *multiple* companies that pretty much comprise the whole industry gang up and refuse content to only *one* company, how is that right?



    Doesn't the USA have any laws at all? In Canada and Europe this would be highly illegal. It's collusion, price fixing and a bunch of other things besides, and it's gone on for more than a year now.
  • Reply 13 of 58
    resnycresnyc Posts: 90member
    (slightly off topic here) Apple TV should be able to record incoming programs (from the air or cable) in addition to renting video from iTunes. I.e., everything that TiVo does, Apple TV should be able to do. I'm sure TiVo is quickly going in the direction of adding everything Apple TV does onto what TiVo already does, and their UI is every bit as elegant and functional as the Apple UI.
  • Reply 14 of 58
    The problem with AppleTV is the massive bottleneck of adding movies. Netflix currently has over 90,000 titles. iTunes started out with, if I remember correctly, 200,000 songs right out of the gate. But the number of video titles on AppleTV has yet to break 1,000. That's pathetic, and it's starting to worry AppleTV owners.



    As of late, Apple only adds one or two titles a day, and often deletes movies that were recently added. At the average rate they are adding, it would take 90 years for AppleTV to reach 90,000 titles!
  • Reply 15 of 58
    I have mentioned this before (I think - I have slept since then)...



    AppleTV/iTunes biggest problem is content - they just don't have the numbers like Netflix. What would be wrong with Apple BUYING Netflix, keeping the mail-out rental stuff but also adding tons of content to Apple TV overnight. Imagine the nice B&W envelope with a big Apple logo coming to your mailbox. I think we pay $18/mo to Netflix - and I wouldn't mind paying this to Apple for having 3 downloadable rentals at a time. Of course the "3 at a time" thing goes out the window with downloadable content.



    At the very least, it would be nice to queue movies up on AppleTV - just like you can with Netflix. Apple might call it "wish list" or something. We often see something that we would like to eventually watch when browsing - it would be nice to mark it so that we don't forget to watch it someday.



    It would be nice to be able to choose between downloads/rentals on-the-fly. I would normally download, but when travelling (I don't have a video ipod), I might opt for the "hard-copy" DVD.



    Phil
  • Reply 16 of 58
    bwikbwik Posts: 562member
    It's sort of funny that Blockbuster was founded to capitalize an Americans sitting on their lazy asses.



    Now, Blockbuster is threatened because of that same laziness! Why get up off the couch, ever?



    "... And suddenly the Blockbuster executive panel realized that Americans could have movies beamed DIRECTLY into their TV sets without any DVD at all...



    OH SHIT, they all said.."



    Haha suck it Blockbuster
  • Reply 17 of 58
    Speak for yourself...



    I ain't young or good looking !!



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bwik View Post


    It's sort of funny that Blockbuster was founded to capitalize an Americans sitting on their lazy asses.



    Now, Blockbuster is threatened because of that same laziness! Why get up off the couch, ever? Just joking around, we all know AAPL users are young and good looking.



  • Reply 18 of 58
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,016member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by backtomac View Post


    Dude you got it all wrong.



    Blockbuster is the one with the vulnerable business model.



    Exactly. Blockbuster still has the burden of retail store employees and stores that a Netflix, for example does not have. That's a sizable negative.
  • Reply 19 of 58
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,016member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ramsey123 View Post


    The problem with AppleTV is the massive bottleneck of adding movies. Netflix currently has over 90,000 titles. iTunes started out with, if I remember correctly, 200,000 songs right out of the gate. But the number of video titles on AppleTV has yet to break 1,000. That's pathetic, and it's starting to worry AppleTV owners.



    As of late, Apple only adds one or two titles a day, and often deletes movies that were recently added. At the average rate they are adding, it would take 90 years for AppleTV to reach 90,000 titles!



    Clearly, Apple will have to buy a company with existing studio agreements in order for AppleTV to reach full potential. It's dead in the water right now.
  • Reply 20 of 58
    quinneyquinney Posts: 2,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post




    Doesn't the USA have any laws at all? In Canada and Europe this would be highly illegal. It's collusion, price fixing and a bunch of other things besides, and it's gone on for more than a year now.



    There are many laws on the books. It is a question of regulation and enforcement.

    We have a lot of foxes guarding a lot of chicken coops here in the US. Corporate

    money has corrupted our "democracy" in many ways. Lack of enforcement of laws

    against anti-competitive behavior is one of them.
Sign In or Register to comment.