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Blockbuster Teams With Philips For DVD Movie, Player Rentals In 500 Stores
(DVD Report; 09/14/98)

Sep. 14, 1998 (DVD REPORT, Vol. 3, No. 29 via COMTEX) -- Six months after the 
 rumors first broke (DVD Report, March 5), Blockbuster Video confirmed last week 
 that it had inked a deal under which Philips Consumer Electronics will supply 
 DVD players for rental kiosks in at least 500 of Blockbuster's 4000 U.S. video 
 rental stores.

 Each of the 500 stores will have about 350 DVD titles for rent and 150 for 
 sale, along with eight players for rent. Prices will vary among markets, but 
 won't be more than $15 for the DVD player, with prices and policies for DVD-
 Video movies set to coincide with those for videotapes. The cities pegged for 
 the DVD program include Chicago, IL, Dallas, TX, Los Angeles, CA, New York, NY, 
 Philadelphia, PA, Salinas/Monterey, CA, Washington D.C., San Francisco, CA, and 
 Richmond, VA. Hardware is already installed in stores in the San Francisco and 
 Richmond markets, with the remaining kiosks and software set to be in stores by 
 October. Depending on initial success, Blockbuster said the program may be 
 deployed to as many as 1,000 stores by the end of the year.

 Blockbuster had no comment regarding an earlier agreement (announced at the 
 1997 CES) between Blockbuster and Sony regarding DVD player kiosks in 50 
 locations.

 Sony Launches Its Own Rental Initiatives

 Sony, however, announced a DVD rental program of its own last week. In 
 conjunction with online DVD sales/rental store NetFlix.com, Sony is offering up 
 to five free DVD titles to customers buying a Sony DVD-Video player from 
 October 1 through January 31, 1999. In addition, NetFlix customers who enroll 
 in Sony's Club DVD will receive special offers and promotions as well as a 
 special Sony newsletter. For the non-wired world, Sony's teaming up with 
 Columbia TriStar Home Video and Warner Home Video to offer 10 free DVD rentals 
 through participating local retailers to consumers buying a Sony DVD player in 
 eight different markets: Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, 
 Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle. In announcing the programs, Sony 
 cited the recent figures from a Yankelovich Partners study commissioned by the 
 Video Software Dealers Association indicating that 66 percent of potential DVD 
 buyers are interested in DVD rentals.



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