Thu, Mar 26th 2009 4:30am
Blockbuster announced back in November that it would begin offering pay-per-view movie downloads, but its plan had a couple of major pitfalls: it required consumers to buy a proprietary box to be able to buy the downloads, and it didn't offer a very wide selection. It's cracked one of those, sort of, by making its OnDemand service available to TiVo users, who will now be able to access it alongside rival services from Netflix and CinemaNow. It's heartening to see that Blockbuster has realized the standalone box strategy isn't viable, even if others haven't figured it out. The lesson is pretty clear: if you're going to come out with a streaming service, you're going to fail if you force users to buy a proprietary box, and your only chance to succeed is by making it available on as many platforms as possible. That's not a guarantee, mind you, as there are still plenty of ways to screw things up, or to have things screwed up for you by movie studios.
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