Blockbuster and NCR to launch DVD vending kiosks

MUMBAI: Blockbuster Inc. and NCR Corporation have entered into an agreement to deploy Blockbuster-branded DVD vending kiosks in a pilot program.

The initial deployment of 50 Blockbuster-branded kiosks should begin in the third quarter of 2008 with all units expected to be installed by year-end. The pilot vending kiosks will initially offer DVD rentals, but the machines will allow for future applications, including digital downloads, and other services, such as sales of DVDs and video games.

The companies have not announced the markets or site locations for the first units.

Earlier this year, Blockbuster and NCR announced an agreement to test digital movie downloading kiosks in select Blockbuster locations. The first of those units is expected to be installed in two Dallas stores this summer.

"With NCR’s advanced technology, these machines will dispense a wide array of DVDs and could offer digital downloading in the future, all under the Blockbuster brand. This initial rollout provides consumers increasingly convenient access to their favorite movies and is one more step in the fulfillment of our mission to transform Blockbuster into a multi-channel provider of media entertainment," said Blockbuster chairman and CEO Jim Keyes.

"This alliance with Blockbuster is an exciting step for NCR as we pursue our mission of becoming the leader in the market for entertainment self- service solutions. Looking beyond this initial deployment, our mutual goal is to have 10,000 kiosks installed within 18 months. We are energized and thrilled to be such an integral part of Blockbuster’s strategy for providing consumers with greater choice and convenience," said NCR chairman and CEO Bill Nuti.

Analysts are projecting DVD vending kiosks could grow by more than 60 per cent over the next three years, increasing from 9,300 units at the end of 2007 to more than 22,400 by the end of 2010. Additionally, consumer spending on movies from vending machines during that same period is expected to grow from $197 million to more than $760 million.

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