Has Blockbuster given up on its standalone MediaPoint player? In a classic case of not beating them but joining them, the video rental store today announced a joint venture with DVR maestros TiVo in the US.
From the second half of 2009, the Blockbuster OnDemand service of movie and TV downloads will be integrated into TiVo Series2, Series3, TiVo HD, and TiVo HD XL DVRs.
As it stands, Blockbuster OnDemand offers 25 standard definition movie rentals for $99 (£68), with a free MediaPoint player thrown in. Additional rentals starts from $1.99 (£1.38) a pop.
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OnDemand to feature movies for sale
The new service promises content to buy as well as rent, and it remains to be seen whether Blockbuster will upgrade to offer at least some High Definition content at the same time.
In return, TiVo DVRs will be sold at "thousands" of Blockbuster stores across the US as well as online at www.blockbuster.com. Additionally, the companies will implement a cross-marketing campaign.
Blockbuster Chairman and CEO Jim Keyes reveals his cunning plan: "Ultimately, our vision is to work with TiVo so that their subscribers can access movies not only through our OnDemand service but also from our stores and through our by-mail service as well."
TiVo has its own agenda. "Joining with Blockbuster further distinguishes TiVo as a true universal solution for content providers, making it a one stop shop for any content through broadband or linear distribution straight to the TV," said Tom Rogers, President and CEO of TiVo Inc.