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Blockbuster makes movie rentals more convenient with new iOS app

The iOS app joins a Blockbuster Android app that was released earlier this year, which has been downloaded more than 50,000 times since its launch. One of the key features of the new iOS app is the ability for users to check the availability of the newest releases at their local Blockbuster store.

“While customers love watching movies on the biggest screen in the house via DVD and Blu-Ray, they often manage their daily lives on smartphones and tablets,” said Mitchell Weinraub, vice president of product at Blockbuster, Englewood, CO.

“Our new apps make managing the entertainment experience easier and more convenient by letting movie fans find titles, watch trailers and organize their queue from anywhere on a variety of devices,” he said.

“Blockbuster rolled out a new Android app in January of this year and we have seen substantial usage and customer satisfaction with that application. The new iOS app is similar to the Android app, but with the added ability to play trailers within the app.”

Movie trailers
For members of the Blockbuster By Mail program, which lets customers order DVDs online and receive them via the mail, the new app will mean they do not have to be in front of a computer screen to add, re-prioritize or organize movies in their queue.

Users of the app can browse a catalog of more than 100,000 movies, TV shows and games. They can also manage their Blockbuster by Mail queue and watch movie trailers.

Additionally, users can search movie, TV and game titles for a synopsis, list of stars and available formats, manage their in-store membership, find a local Blockbuster store and navigate in both English and Spanish.

Targeting mail customers
Blockbuster will be introducing additional features for the iOS app in the coming months.

The Blockbuster app is compatible with iOS 5.1.1 and later and is available for free to current Blockbuster members as well as non-members.

Blockbuster also offers an On Demand app provided by DISH Digital that allows users to stream movies and TV shows for a low fee per play.

Dish Network Corp., which acquired Blockbuster in 2011, revealed plans earlier this year to close approximately 300 Blockbuster stores, leaving just 500 U.S. locations open following previous additional closings as a result of the growth in Netflix as well as online video streaming services. Blockbuster began offering its own DVD by mail service in 2012.

“We expect the primary users to be our current and prospective DVD/Blu-Ray by mail customers,” Mr. Weinraub said.

“The app allows users to manage their by mail queue and add new titles whenever and wherever a new title comes to their attention,” he said. “Customers can also find a Blockbuster store and check on the stock of particular titles.

“Based on the success of our Android app the functionality is quite similar.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York