Blockbuster’s Movie Downloading Play

In what is reported to be a $50 million deal, Blockbuster is in “advanced talks” to purchase Movielink, a movie download company that lets you buy or rent videos to watch on your PC or laptop computer.

Five major studios currently own a stake in Movielink as a joint venture: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios and Warner Bros, according to the Reuters report.

While Movielink itself doesn’t allow video transfers to mobile devices, its two chief competitors do. Apple’s iTunes Store and Vongo. You can buy hundreds of movies from the iTunes Store and view them on any video-capable iPod. Vongo lets you do the same with the Toshiba Gigabeat S portable MP3 player. We’d expect Movielink to add that functionality very soon even without the Blockbuster deal, though a cash infusion like that couldn’t hurt.

WSJ: Blockbuster to Buy Movielink [Reuters via PC Magazine]