Blockbuster Busting Out Blu-ray

Blockbuster is taking aggressive steps to push Blu-ray and download services. While known as a DVD rental giant, Blockbuster is busting out of the mold.

The stores are pushing Blu-ray with software and hardware displays and kiosks in a joint effort with Sony. According to an investor call, CEO Jim Keyes said they're selling 2,000 to 3,000 Blu-ray players every week. Not too shabby. Customers can also use the by-mail rental service to receive Blu-rays at home.

See what else Keyes had to say.

In addition to the Blu-ray push, Blockbuster also showed off an updated version of Movielink, their movie downloading service with over 10,000 new-release movies. Only available for PC (what's up with that?) rentals are $3.99 and purchases start at $9.99. 

Movielink_logo_108x108 Blockbuster is keeping Movielink separate from from the subscription plan. Currently, Blockbuster has 3.2 million subscribers, even after raising prices for new releases.

Blockbuster's prototype stores, Rock the Block, saw a 12% sales increase too, even without any advertising. These stores feature more electronics hardware and interactive kiosks.

Keeping an eye on the future, Blockbuster is also looking at other distribution avenues such as direct-to-TV through set-top boxes, games consoles, Blu-ray players, and Internet-enabled TVs.

Blockbuster seems to be keeping an eye on the future of the home video biz. -Leslie Shapiro

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