DVR pioneer TiVo has been offering its customers access to streaming video content using in-home broadband Internet for a while: the company first partnered up with Amazon and then partnered with video rental powerhouse Netflix—and added high-definition video from Netflix shortly thereafter. TiVo also partnered up with CinemaNow to bring Disney movies to subscribers…and now the company is adding another streaming video partner to its service: Blockbuster. TiVo has announced plans to offer Blockbuster OnDemand on TiVo Series3, TiVo HD XL, and older Series2 set-top boxes in the second half of 2009—and Blockbuster is going to help promote TiVo by offering TiVos for sale in its extensive brick-and-mortal rental locations.
"Joining with Blockbuster further distinguishes TiVo as a true universal solution for content providers, making it a one stop shop for any content thru broadband or linear distribution straight to the TV," said TiVo CEO Tom Rogers, in a statement. "When consumers walk into one of the thousands of Blockbuster stores entertainment for the home is on their minds—it could not be more natural to have them exposed to the world of millions of entertainment possibilities for the home that the TiVo Service provides."
Making Blockbuster OnDemand available for Series2 TiVo units gives the service a bit of a leg up on competitor Netflix, which is only available on the TiVo HD and Series 3 units. The retail marketing deal (and concomitant cross-marketing campaign) will also put TiVo units in front of millions of regular video renters in Blockbuster locations. Diversifying its on-demand video offerings also enabled TiVo to differentiate itself from more-or-less generic DVRs offered by cable and satellite providers that are locked into specific services.
The companies haven’t announced pricing for Blockbuster OnDemand titles, but Blockbuster OnDemand currently prices most rentals at $1.99 to $3.99 and new release purchases at $9.99 to $17.99. The service will launch with about 10,000 movies—Amazon and Netflix offer more titles, but Blockbuster claims will make the service a preferred choice for TiVo users since it will include a wider range of recent releases.