April 21, 2009

Blockbuster set to roll out rental kiosks

blockbuster_logo.gifNCR and Blockbuster issue a new announcement of 10,000 kiosks to be installed by end of next year. Last year around this time we had a brief barrage of news of similar thread. Maybe this time...

03:51 PM CDT on Tuesday, April 21, 2009

By MARIA HALKIAS / The Dallas Morning News
mhalkias@dallasnews.com
Blockbuster’s answer to Redbox DVD rental kiosks is about to make its debut with 10,000 vending machines planned by the end of next year.

Last fall, Blockbuster partnered with NCR Corp. to plan its entry into the DVD vending business. The companies just finished a pilot test in Dallas and Oklahoma City, and on Tuesday, NCR said it acquired the remaining equity in TNR Holdings Corp. in order to accelerate the national rollout of Blockbuster Express machines.

Houston-based TNR, the second largest DVD vending business after Redbox, operates more than 2,200 DVD kiosks under the MovieCube and The New Release brands in dozens of supermarket chains including Kroger in the Dallas area.

Industry leader Redbox has more than 14,000 kiosks in several major chains such as Wal-Mart, Walgreen and most recently 7-Eleven. Movies rent for $1 a night. Redbox was acquired by Coinstar Inc. in February.

Dallas-based Blockbuster is a latecomer to the DVD vending business, similar to how it approached the online DVD rent-by-mail business started by Netflix.

Last month, Blockbuster chief executive Jim Keyes told analysts that he’s “glad that our friends at Redbox proved it out, because it is a good consumer proposition.” Keyes wants the business to evolve into digital downloading kiosks, instead of dispensing a limited number of copies stored inside.

It’s possible that TNR’s existing machines will be converted to Blockbuster Express, but that hasn’t been decided yet, said NCR spokesman Jeff Dudash.

Posted by staff at April 21, 2009 04:23 PM