5-10 years: That’s how long Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) has to get its digital house in order before its popular DVD-by-mail business starts to wane. CEO Reed Hastings made the projection during a meeting with analysts today, according to Reuters. And the road ahead is anything but a sure thing: Netflix shares were slammed last month after the company expressed uncertainty on its digital business model, even as investments into these areas start to eat into profits.
Meanwhile, at its annual shareholder meeting Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) presented a new component of its vision for the future: in-store download kiosks. CEO Jim Keyes presented a working prototype of a kiosk, according to Video Business, which requires a user to insert their own portable media device. Currently it takes two minutes to transfer a movie onto a device, but the company says it will get this down to 30 seconds. Not clear: what kind of DRM-like restrictions the company will ultimately impose. It sounds a bit like stuff that’s been tried in the past without much success in music, and it would require a major shift in how consumers are used to getting their films… but then again Blockbuster’s proposed merger Circuit Cirty is all about creating a new kind of media/electronics retailer, so this seems to fit right in.
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