Blockbuster: ‘The Majority of Our Business – As Much As 80% – Has Been in New Releases’

Fast Company’s interview with Blockbuster CEO, Jim Keyes, is an interesting one. Besides delving into the company’s financial woes, and its implications for investors and partners, Keyes helped shed light on the company’s strategy to compete with the likes of Netflix, Redbox, Comcast, iTunes, etc. If you don’t know by now, Blockbuster’s strategy is a single membership, multi-channel approach with DVD by mail (requires a monthly subscription), in-store, kiosk, and on-demand. Interestingly, Keyes stated that Netflix’s offering, because of its customer base, is more focused on long-tail content whereas Blockbuster’s business, “as much as 80%,” is derived from new releases — hence the reason why the company’s recent exclusivity deals were so important to help differentiate the service (the image above shows how Blockbuster was offering The Blind Side before any of the other DVD services). Another nugget that stood out is Blockbuster’s view on delivering content on portable devices is quite different than its competitors (but a lot closer inline with what Apple is doing with iTunes). Keyes explains: “The limitation of streaming in a portable device is that you have to be in a strong 3G area or a Wi-Fi hotspot.” On the other hand, Blockbuster believes that in order to provide the best possible experience on a portable device one should be able to download a video in its entirety for the highest quality playback. He went on to say, that an iPad app like Netflix’s is in the pipeline, but members will only have the ability to download — not stream — content over 3G or Wi-Fi. FYI, Blockbuster is already delivering movies to HTC handsets [pic].

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