Monday, June 02, 2008

Blockbuster's Download Kiosks Need Some Fine-Tuning

My good friend Jason Unger beat me to the punch on this one, so read his dissection of Blockbuster's initial download kiosk concept:

According to Keyes, movies would cost $3.99 (though a subscription model could come) and could only be downloaded to Archos players.
Could this work? Yes and no.
Who actually owns an Archos player? A lot fewer people than those who own iPods. It would have to be device independent.
It's redundant to place these kiosks in Blockbuster stores. Why would you go to the movie store to download a movie? Put the kiosks in supermarkets and fast-food restaurants, like DVD-rental kioskRedbox does.
For Blockbuster's video download kiosks to work, they have to be available in places where people actually go. News flash: that's not the video store anymore.

Really, the only things I have to add are to reiterate Jason's disbelief in Blockbuster's choice of partnering with Archos. Limiting your target market to Archos player owners is like limiting your target market to left-handed cross-dressing professional limbo dancers: you're not exactly setting yourself up for oodles of sales.

Secondly, why download to players at all? Why not download to flash drives? Multi-gig flash drives are springing up like mushrooms, getting bigger and cheaper. Why not take this route? It would certainly address a lot of interoperability issues with different handheld media devices.

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