While bankrupt video chain Blockbuster Video is spending millions on TV ads to trumpet its immediate access to new releases, the folks behind the Blockbuster Express rental kiosks have made a deal with Warner Bros. and other studios to delay renting new titles by 28 days.
Even though Blockbuster Express, which is actually owned and operated by NCR Corp, has the right to go out and buy newly released DVDs and rent them out, that’s a pricey proposition. So this deal would allow the company to deal directly with the studios and get the discs at a lower cost.
In addition to Warner Bros., NCR has made similar arrangements with Fox and Universal.
Both Redbox and Netflix have made these kinds of deals with studios in the last year. The latter company has used these agreements to not only get cheaper discs but to gain access to various studios’ libraries for its rapidly growing streaming service.
For the studios, these delays give them a few extra weeks of lucrative retail sales before the titles become available for rent.
For Blockbuster Express, this is just the latest move that separates the kiosk business from its bricks and mortar namesake. When Blockbuster filed for bankruptcy in September, NCR sent out a mass e-mail to Blockbuster Express customers reminding them that the kiosks were related to the video store in name only.