Blockbuster is continuing to look for ways to enter the digital age and now is openly courting telcos for content delivery partnerships. Speaking at a Citigroup Media Conference in Phoenix, Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes is quoted by Reuters as saying, “As we move toward video-on-demand and pay-per-view, Blockbuster is well positioned not only to compete on our own, but also to partner with others.” He specifically cited Verizon and AT&T as potential partners.
The rush for finding an optimal way to deliver Internet streamed video is well underway. As of right now the dominant players appear to be Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, and of course YouTube. Blockbuster wants in. They are looking for ways to leverage their 60 million+ retail customer relationships into some form of digital nirvana. Partnering with the likes of Verizon and others makes good sense, at least in theory. Verizon has already announced their intention to launch a Verizon content delivery network. Accessing Blockbuster’s content library may make sense. “We’re very focused on providing a lot of video (content) for consumers who have an insatiable appetite for it, so speaking to companies that provide video content makes a great deal of sense and we should be speaking to companies like this,” said Verizon spokesman Phil Santoro to Reuters.
We’re at the beginning stages of the broadbandTV movement. Service providers of all sizes have to get serious about investigating all of their content delivery options – telcos especially. Cable companies like Comcast are moving quickly on this front as well, and already have vertically integrated content relationships to leverage. From a service provider’s point of view, the next couple years will be critical in ensuring a seat at the content delivery table.