Monday, May 01, 2006

Here I thought the only burning that could save Blockbuster involved insurance fraud

Like anyone else who isn't employed there, I enjoy the Blockbuster Death Watch. The combination of Hollywood, hubris and business incompetence is simply too irresistible. So when linked to a very thorough Blockbuster vs NetFlix analysis, I was at first excited. Then halfway into it, my Liberal Arts brain seized up. I fought through that. And found this nugget:

"The only way that I can see Blockbuster expand revenue...would be for them to negotiate the rights to do burn on demand DVDs at kiosk locations nationwide. Blockbuster has had some success at negotiating revenue sharing arrangements with the studios and if they could offer a business model where you could go to your favorite supermarket and burn any of 50,000 DVDs on demand or ahead of time, then the company could survive the digital transition."

Interesting. Combine that with the penny-converter kiosk and I'm in!

Honestly though, all you need to know about Blockbuster is that AJ Soprano works there. Just another confused character trying to keep up in a fast-changing world. Good Lord, if there's one thing David Chase is going to make you understand this season, it's obsolete business models.


Davis Freeberg said...

People think I'm off my rocker for liking kiosks, but the real key for Blockbuster is the rights to do burn on demand. Even at the store level, they can only stock a couple thousand titles and the good ones sell out. If customers could order a dvd ahead of time and know that it would be there it would increase the appeal of their stores enough to help pay down their debt. It wouldn't all need to done with kiosks, but my only point with the kiosks is that they could partner with a Safeway or a Target and double their size while closing the less profitable stand alone stores. Running a kiosk is a lot cheaper then paying minimum wage and store leases. Of course even this might be a long shot for Blockbuster, but it would at least be innovative and couldn't hurt their situation.

Irene Done said...

No -- I wasn't making fun of the kiosk idea. I think it's kinda brilliant. When you add in the other factors that make a store visit so negative for consumers -- the extra trip, the clueless clerks -- it's especially attractive. Of course, it may be too imaginative and way too innovative a solution for the team at Blockbuster.

And to be clear: I REALLY enjoyed reading your write-up. Lots of great thoughts.

Davis Freeberg said...

Wow I can't believe someone else actually sees the advantage in the idea. On most of the non business sites people think I'm pretty crazy. Of course if they saw the growth in kiosk sales in the private market right now, they'd know that kiosks are coming whether they think they want them or not. I'm glad you enjoyed my post, it was a lot of fun writing it.