Months after Blockbuster relaunched its on-demand digital rental service, it has released apps for the iPhone and iPad in the hopes of attracting more viewers.
When “Blockbuster On Demand” saw new life back in January, apps were launched for PC, Mac, Android, Roku and Samsung’s Smart TVs. With 1080p streaming and 5.1 surround sound, parent company Dish Network hoped that it could reap some rewards from the streaming video gravy train.
Unfortunately for them, the going has been tough thus far with the service still lagging behind market leaders like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime. The release of iOS apps is aimed at broadening the range of access, but also to attract some of the millions of viewers who own the iPhone or iPad. It works on all iPhones, iPads and iPod touches running IOS 4.3 or later.
The app offers rental options for single titles that users can watch instantly or save for viewing later on, which can be viewed on any of the other supported devices or platforms. Evidently, the app will also fully support HD streams and full surround sound, but it’s not clear if there will be limitations on what titles are offered with those features. Nor does it seem like anything uniquely new was added specifically for the new apps.
It’s a sign of changing times for the once-mighty Blockbuster, which had 9,000 stores in the U.S. at its peak, but may now number just under 500. Dish had posited that it might go after Netflix by launching a streaming service of comparable size and depth, but backed out because of the cost involved.