Blockbuster Joins ‘Em Since They Can’t Beat ‘Em

Back in August of 2007 Blockbuster jumped into digital movie distribution by acquiring Movielink. However, they’ve failed to set the world on fire with their digital distribution service, trailing far behind Netflix, Amazon VOD, and CinemaNow. CinemaNow has enjoyed a major resurgence since Sonic purchased them in November, and it seems Blockbuster has taken notice.

Blockbuster is partnering with Sonic to bring Blockbuster branded video services to consumers, including the existing CinemaNow content service. It sounds like win-win for Blockbuster and Sonic. Blockbuster gets a successful service which already has a number of deals with consumer electronics vendors, which Sonic gets the Blockbuster brand, which is still a fairly strong brand in the video rental market. It is also a pretty good deal for the CE vendors who have already made deals to bring CinemaNow content to their devices, as they get the strong Blockbuster brand.

I wonder if we’ll be seeing the Blockbuster brand on TiVo, since they currently use CinemaNow for Disney content, and more content is expected.

Jan 14, 2009 00:00 ET

Blockbuster and Sonic Solutions Team for Internet Movie Delivery

Alliance to give consumers instant access to Blockbuster digital movie service across extensive range of home and portable devices

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. and DALLAS, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE:BBI) (NYSE:BBI.B) , a global leader in entertainment, and Sonic Solutions (NASDAQ:SNIC) , the leading technology and service provider for premium movie content, today announced an alliance to give consumers access to a vast library of premium digital entertainment across a wide assortment of home and mobile electronic devices. Under the multi-year, preferred-provider agreement, Blockbuster will supply the branded consumer interfaces and Sonic will power content delivery across PC and consumer electronic devices.

The two companies are collaborating with a host of consumer electronic (CE) manufacturers, including Sonic’s existing CinemaNow providers, to expand the ecosystem of interoperable devices offering the Blockbuster service. These devices include PCs, portable media players, Blu-ray Disc players, personal video recorders (PVRs), set-top boxes, mobile phones and Web-connected television sets. Additionally, the two companies will make their digital libraries of mainstream content available under the Blockbuster brand resulting in one of the most expansive VOD (video on demand) and EST (electronic sell-through) offerings in the marketplace.

“We are excited to be partnering with Sonic, the industry’s leading entertainment delivery and technology provider, to make Blockbuster’s digital entertainment service easily and instantly available to consumers through the widest range of devices available in the marketplace,” said Jim Keyes, Blockbuster Chairman and CEO. “Blockbuster is a ubiquitous entertainment presence in the physical world. Through this alliance with Sonic, we plan to become a ubiquitous presence in the digital world as well. Our goal is to offer consumers the most digital content, the most accessibility, via the most devices, both in- and out of home.”

Sonic’s device ecosystem, powered by its new CinemaNow™ SDK (software development kit), will help streamline the introduction of Blockbuster’s digital entertainment service into a wide variety of consumer electronic devices, both Mac- and Windows-enabled, via adaptive streaming and progressive download. The devices will be sold through Blockbuster retail stores, and other leading retailers.

“With more and more broadband-enabled consumer electronics hitting the market, there is a growing need for a service that gives consumers access to premium entertainment on any device, anytime and anywhere,” said Dave Habiger, president and CEO, Sonic Solutions. “By pairing Sonic’s digital delivery technology with Blockbuster’s trusted brand and library of content, we enable any CE manufacturer to add an impressive digital movie service to its product offerings and in doing so, create the most flexible digital entertainment service for consumers.”

About Blockbuster

Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE:BBI) (NYSE:BBI.B) is a leading global provider of in-home and portable movie and game entertainment, with more than 7,500 stores throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and Australia. The Company may be accessed worldwide at

About Sonic Solutions

Sonic Solutions® (NASDAQ: SNIC; enables the creation, management, and enjoyment of premium and personal digital media content through its Hollywood to Home™ products, services, and technologies. Sonic’s products range from the advanced authoring systems used to produce Hollywood DVD and Blu-ray Disc titles to the award-winning Roxio®-branded photo, video, music, and digital-media management applications, field-proven SDKs and services. Sonic’s Premium Content Group, which includes CinemaNow, is helping provide consumers convenient access to Hollywood entertainment for download and enjoyment on a broad range of digital devices. Sonic Solutions is headquartered in Marin County, California.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward looking statements that are based upon current expectations, including the market acceptance and success of the alliance between Blockbuster and Sonic Solutions. Actual results could differ materially from those projected in the forward looking statements as a result of various risks and uncertainties. This press release should be read in conjunction with Blockbuster’s and Sonic Solutions’ most recent annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly Forms 10-Q and other reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which contain a more detailed discussion of each company’s business including risks and uncertainties that may affect future results. Neither Blockbuster nor Sonic Solutions undertakes to update any forward looking statements.

Sonic, the Sonic logo, Sonic Solutions, Roxio, the Roxio logo, CinemaNow, and Hollywood to Home are trademarks or registered trademarks owned by Sonic Solutions in the United States and/or other countries. Blockbuster, the Blockbuster logo, and Blockbuster Online are trademarks or registered trademarks owned by Blockbuster Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.

All other company or product names are trademarks of their respective owners and, in some cases, are used under license. Specifications, pricing and delivery schedules are subject to change without notice.

Source: Blockbuster Inc.; Sonic Solutions

CONTACT: Karen Raskopf,, or Randy
Hargrove,, both of Blockbuster Inc.,
+1-214-854-3190; or Chris Taylor of Sonic Solutions, +1-408-367-5231,

Web Site:

About MegaZone

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