Blockbuster CEO Slams Netflix Streaming Selection

With one foot in the grave already, Blockbuster is doing everything it can to keep from being dragged down into bankruptcy hell. From making risky deals with studios to get a 4-week head start on new titles to considering getting into the video game biz, they’re throwing everything against the wall in the hopes that something sticks. And in a new interview, the company’s CEO takes aim at the video-streaming service offered by Netflix.

“You tell me: Do you want to watch The Blind Side or Herbie Goes to Cancun?” Keyes asked, referring to what some have called Netflix’s less-than-stellar on-demand offerings. “Our customer demand is 60% to 80% for new releases. The subscription model does not translate effectively to what our customers want to see when they want to see them.”

(Note: I would much rather watch Herbie Goes to Cancun. Too bad it doesn’t exist.)

Keyes also admits that the closing of many Blockbuster retail outlets is essential to the changing model of the video rental business:

Stores were once a convenience and that’s why we had so many. That has now been supplanted by two other even more convenient forms of access… Here’s an analogy: If I want to buy an obscure book title, I’ll go to Amazon.com. But if I want to browse and see what’s new, I will go to Barnes & Noble.

Whaddaya think? Is Blockbuster’s focus on new releases going to help them survive? Or has the home market moved on beyond the “gotta have it the day it comes out” mentality?

Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes still sees movie-rental opportunities [L.A. Times]