Best Buy and Blockbuster are both working on a movie download store of their own, reports Variety.
The news broke in a conference call with analysts by Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer, who listed the two alongside existing download players such as Amazon and iTunes. Neither of them have actually announced plans to do so yet. They’d be the latest bricks-and-mortar retailers to try to enter the world of digital downloads, joining Wal-Mart in the cross-media space.
Let me venture into a bit of speculation here and say that the company that winds up achieving Netflix-like ubiquity will be the one that solves the problem of letting people view their movies wherever they might be. That likely means a model that seemlessly lets people buy the rights to view a movie unlimited times and on unlimited devices. PC, laptop, hotel room, living room – anywhere that person is they can call up the movie.
The model for this almost certainly can’t be the DVD but needs to be the MP3. I can plug my iPod in wherever there’s a set of speakers or headphones with a jack and listen to the 8,000+ songs I have on it. So why can’t I do that with movies? It’s obviously a model people want, based not only on the popularity of MP3 players but also of web-based applications such as email, document processing and RSS readers.
When someone creates a system like that for movies – one that preferably also includes the physical DVD for posterity, cover art and bonus features – they’ll likely emerge the winner in this game. It’s what the marketplace is increasingly calling for. [via PC]