Since the Blockbuster auction last year, there was a lot of speculation on what the buyer, Dish Network, would do with all of the stores, employees and product. Back in July, Dish closed and liquidated almost half of the Blockbuster locations in order to consolidate their efforts. From there, we saw the company bring in the Blockbuster streaming service, which was specific to Dish Network customers only.
Now, after 500 more store closures two months ago we are seeing the next phase in what Dish is trying to do here. Blockbuster stores will now have "guaranteed rentals" in their stores.
This week, Blockbuster/Dish announced that there will be guaranteed in-store availability of select titles on release date. This new campaign started on April 17th with Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol and the title will be available for you to rent or the rental is free for when it arrives back in stock.
From the press release,
Whether customers seek to rent the film at their local Blockbuster store or choose to do an in-store exchange as part of their Blockbuster Total Access by-mail membership, Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol is assured by Blockbuster to be in stock through May 15th. Blockbuster will be supporting the release through online, broadcast, and in-store promotions, with marketing support from Paramount Home Media Distribution.
We know that this move is to fight the studios delaying the release of new titles into physical stores even longer. Warner just doubled its 28 day release schedule to Netflix and is trying to do the same to other physical stores nationwide.
The question I have is that with stores like MovieStop offering trade-in discounts and Redbox trying to close in on exclusivity deals and be available in more locations, are people really still going to Blockbuster to pick up movies? I'd be curious to see how many people are actually Total Access subscribers. In the end, Dish is using Blockbuster as merely a break-even marketing tool to try and get (and keep) more customers.
How do you get your movies? Tell us in the comments.