Blockbuster Wants to Bring the Joy of No Late Fees to Your Cellphone

After getting reamed by Q3 losses and basically conceding the online rental space to Netflix, Blockbuster looked to be refocusing on its B&M stores, ironically signified by its installation of in-store digital rental kiosks. So naturally its next move is cellphones. Yeah. Says CEO James Keyes:

We're talking with virtually all of the major manufacturers about the opportunity to provide greater mobility and convenience... The challenge is how do I make this convenient for everybody.

They're also chatting up a number of software companies about partnerships. Apparently, the idea came to Keyes after he got a tech to download some stuff from Movielink onto his Blackberry.

Which, it's a nice idea, but Blockbuster's past forays into other distribution channels haven't gone so smoothly, to put it mildly. Moreover, the installation of digital kiosks for portable media players inside of B&M stores indicates to me they don't quite "get" what digital distribution is all about.

They do have to branch out beyond B&M if they want to survive in the next few years, that's true—true IP VOD will be a killstroke—but I don't know if making it easier to put movies on your cellphone is Blockbuster's golden ticket. It might be a start, if they get it right for a change. [Reuters, Flickr]