Wed, Nov 26th 2008 4:21pm
Stop us if you've heard this before: a company wants to sell people a box so they can pay to download movies. Sound familiar? That's because plenty of companies have tried it before -- all with little success. Consumers haven't shown much interest in buying service-specific hardware so they can buy movie downloads from a single provider for a number of reasons: poor selection of movies, the cost of downloads, the cost of the hardware, download times, and lack of portability to name a few. What's amazing is that so many companies keep lining up with their own efforts, without ever really fixing any of the problems, as if time will solve them. Now, it's Blockbuster's turn, as it's announced a $99 box that can access $2 movie downloads. Blockbuster says its service is different than all the failed ones before it because it has "more recent" movies. Netflix's streaming service has 12,000 films and TV shows -- less than 10 percent of its collection, thanks to Hollywood licensing schemes. Blockbuster has a whopping 2,000. But they're newer, they swear. So not only has Blockbuster failed to solve one of the problems of these services (narrow selection), they've exacerbated it and are calling it a feature. Now that sounds like the path to success.
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