Warner is latest to ink with vidtailer

The list of studio support for NCR’s Blockbuster-branded kiosk biz keeps growing — as long as the company plays by the rules.

Warner Home Video is the latest major to agree to supply DVDs and Blu-rays to Blockbuster Express kiosks that offer up cheap movie rentals to consumers at convenience stores and other retailers as long as they aren’t offered until 28 days after they go on sale.

NCR last week said it would start offering Warner Bros.’ “Inception” the same day as the DVD bowed at a higher price as part of a test to see if consumers would pay more — $3 for a Blu-ray versus the usual $1 for a DVD per night — for new releases (Daily Variety, Dec. 8).

At the time, however, NCR didn’t have an official deal with Warners; staffers stocked its 900 kiosks involved in the test in four cities with discs they purchased locally from retailers.

Now, Warner Bros. will start supplying films at a lower cost to NCR, starting Jan. 1, enabling the kiosk-operator to add more titles to its rental boxes, as a result. NCR licenses the Blockbuster brand name.

“The new agreement allows NCR to continue providing quality DVD rental titles at an affordable price, while providing Warner Bros. with more revenue opportunities when titles are first released,” said Mark Horak, president of Warner Home Video’s Americas division.

The deal was expected, given that Hollywood is one of Blockbuster’s biggest supporters; the once dominant video rental chain is the only major retailer that can rent movies the same day as their DVD and Blu-ray releases; Netflix and Redbox must abide by the 28-day-delay.

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