DALLAS — Blockbuster Inc., based here, and NCR Corp. (Dayton, OH) said they have entered into an agreement to deploy Blockbuster-branded DVD-vending kiosks that will be built by NCR. The pilot program, according to officials, could be the first step of a national rollout of thousands of units.
The initial deployment of 50 is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2008; all units should be installed by year-end. The pilot machines will initially offer DVD rentals, but allow for future applications and services, including digital downloads and sales of movie DVDs and videogames. Officials from both companies said their goal is to install 10,000 kiosks within 18 months.
“This initial rollout provides consumers increasingly convenient access to their favorite movies and is one more step in the fulfillment of our mission to transform Blockbuster into a multichannel provider of media entertainment,” said Blockbuster chairman and chief executive Jim Keyes.
Separately, NCR and TNR Entertainment have entered into an agreement that designates the kiosk manufacturer as TNR’s exclusive provider of self-service technology. TNR is the second-largest operator of movie rental kiosks in North America, under The New Release and MovieCube brands, and is a leading movie kiosk provider in the grocery channel with approximately 2,200 units deployed.
TNR said it intends to place volume orders for NCR Xpress Entertainment DVD venders this year and in 2009. The NCR Xpress Entertainment portfolio includes a multichannel software platform and a high- capacity DVD vending kiosk that enables rentals, sales of shrink-wrapped media or a combination of both. Other options include digital download kiosks, as well as bare-disk handling capabilities and support for other types of digital media such as music and videogames. NCR also offers the ability for consumers to interact over the Internet or their mobile devices.
In addition, NCR said it has signed a multiyear managed services agreement with TNR, and acquired a minority equity investment in the company.
“This agreement will help unify our fleet of kiosks onto a single software platform, improve our quality of service to consumers and enable TNR to meet growing demand from our channel and distribution partners,” said TNR chief executive Tim Belton.
NCR chief executive Bill Nuti said the agreement supports its strategy of expanding the company’s self-service solutions beyond the traditional financial and retail industry strongholds into adjacent markets, including travel, healthcare and entertainment.