Might the launch of OTT service blinkbox mark the beginning of some serious streaming competition for industry giants Netflix and LOVEFiLM? You’d be forgiven for thinking this is very much the case.
For a start, blinkbox is pushing the point (in a full radio and print advertising campaign) that consumers can expect an array of new releases not available – or not yet available – from more established competitors, presently including indisputable blockbusters such as Ironman 3 and Fast and Furious 6. Then there’s its distinct business model. Instead of having a subscription fee, customers rent by-the-movie, meaning no direct debit… and a pleasantly nostalgic tingle for those of us that still miss those weekly jaunts to Blockbuster. Minus the legwork, of course: you can stream blinkbox directly onto your SmartTV, Xbox 360, iPad, Blu-rays, Set-top boxes, PC or Mac or TV connected to your PC or Mac.
Their assault on the OTT market is given that much more clout through an association with Tesco, who from this month will be stocking £5, £10 and £20 blinkbox Movie and TV Cards in 2000 outlets, complimenting this availability with a “Great Nights In” campaign whereby customers can enjoy discounts on all the products that complete the home viewing experience, from snacks and drinks to games and electrical items.
The still wider significance here is that this represents Tesco’s largest ever in-store promotion of a digital service (there are Clubcard points available on every pound spent, also), another stride in the rapid evolution of OTT.
What seems certain is that we can expect to hear a lot more from blinkbox.