These days one can barely hear or read news about anything else but the iPhone. Well, maybe that is not completely true, but the effect of their announcement has been huge. What has gone almost without notice has been the iTV, which tries to take digital entertainment (basically the iTunes store and its contents) directly to your TV. Apple is not the only one. And I am not talking about all the IPTV providers, but about a company that is profiting from the digital entertainment industry with a proposal that is already old -take a DVD to your home and bring it back when you are done- but that works really well. Yes, Netflix is the one. Or maybe it is Blockbuster, which, instead of disappearing after their shares plummeted since 2004, have recovered and captured more that 2 million online subscribers.

When are we going to have a mass market proposition for online downloads of digital entertainment. iTunes started the game, with Amazon and Wal-Mart (since 2005) following in the last months, the reality is that, as we were discussing in a previous post, Netflix is still the winner thanks to its recommendation service. But now Blockbuster strikes back with a very mundane proposition: you can return the movies in a store near your home. This basically means using your assets to make your customer’s life easier.

This case should teach us something about the process of development of a digital entertainment offer. That something is related to the relevance of the real life of our customers, which are not willing to make a complete shift in their daily life, unless the change gives them more time, to do other stuff. We will all be happy to shop for online entertainment, if you give us a reason to do so. What are your reasons? That is probably a good question for many of the failed projects trying to sell revolutionary ways of consuming entertainment.


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