Blockbuster and Microsoft Team Up for Portable/Mobile Movies Distribution

An article by Andrew D. Smith in The Dallas Morning News points to a burgeoning partnership for the distribution of movies to mobile phones. Blockbuster is clearly looking to maintain its relevance as a distributor of entertainment content. This includes it recent foray into set-top-box integration efforts and now portable and mobile efforts. While it remains to be seen how/when the mobile services will actually roll-out and what devices will be supported, Blockbuster plans to leverage Microsoft’s “Live Mesh” software for its portable/mobile efforts.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that mobile consumers would want to use their mobile phones mostly for consuming short-form, YouTube-like video content, or catch-up TV programming. However, the youth market has embraced portable video players (PVPs) and surprisingly have expressed strong interest in watching full-length content on their mobile devices. That combined with improvements in mobile form factors for video consumption (e.g., larger screens, more memory in the form of SD cards, etc.) and emerging distribution channels for content (e.g., beyond the wireless carrier – such as the iPhone App Store) have set the stage for these and other efforts.