Thu, Aug 9th 2007 11:11am
Movielink, the movie download site started by major movie studios, has been up for sale for quite some time. The studios have had a hard time finding a buyer, though, because it's blindingly obvious (to everybody but the studios, apparently) just how badly the site sucks. The studios' desire to lock down the content with restrictive DRM, along with other flaws make the site wholly unattractive for users. It now looks like the studios have finally talked Blockbuster into buying Movielink at a fire-sale price -- less than $20 million, according to the WSJ, compared to the $100 million-plus the studios pumped into the site. Blockbuster may have picked up some download infrastructure on the cheap, but if it hopes to wring any sort of success out of Movielink, it's going to have to completely change the way the site works. But the studios wouldn't let that happen before, since controlling the content was their top priority; since they'll still be licensing the content to Blockbuster, it's unlikely that they'll let it remove any of the barriers to uptake they've put in place.
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