The TDC Group is preparing a new offensive move in the digital film rental market where TDC is already a market leader. The group has acquired the Danish rights to the Blockbuster name, which for almost two decades has been synonymous with film rental.
TDC will use the familiarity of the Blockbuster name to encourage Danes to rent films online. Online and digital film rental has become increasingly popular in recent years, but many households have yet to try digital film rental.
Anders Jensen, Senior Executive Vice President, TDC, says:
"Our aim is to accelerate growth in a market where new release rentals have already more than doubled each year for the past five years. Typically, it takes a couple of years from the latest films are shown in the cinema until they become available via subscription film streaming services, and many people are not willing to wait that long. They want to see the films while they are still new and are willing to pay extra for that."
TDC expects to implement the Blockbuster name in the first half of 2014 and promises that customers will have a lot to look forward to.
"Blockbuster is a very powerful brand, which for many years has offered the biggest selection of the best and latest films to Danish consumers – and will continue to do so in future. We will, of course, also revamp the concept by utilising the wide range of possibilities that digital technology has to offer," says Anders Jensen.
Last year, Blockbuster Denmark announced that its physical shops would be rebranded to RecycleIT.dk, which is based on creating a marketplace for pre-owned popular consumer electronics, films and games, which combines the physical shops with an online platform. In October last year, the first RecycleIT.dk shop opened in Copenhagen, and the remaining Blockbuster shops are expected to be rebranded during the next six months.
Søren Heilmann, CEO of RecycleIT and Blockbuster Denmark, says:
"RecycleIT.dk gives us a unique opportunity to create the first nationwide multi-platform destination for pre-owned consumer electronics and entertainment. I am delighted that the Blockbuster name lives on in the digital world, but I also want to emphasise that RecycleIT.dk will continue to serve the part of the market that still wants to buy and rent physical films and games. In future, this will just take place under a different name and with a new store concept and an online shop, which is aimed at a growing market."
The market for digital distribution of films and TV series is divided into two categories:
• TVOD (Transactional Video On Demand). The customer pays to rent a single film for a short period of time, for example 48 hours. The films available for rental are primarily new releases, i.e. films that have recently been released in cinemas.
• SVOD (Subscription Video On Demand). The customer pays a fixed monthly subscription fee to gain access to a large number of TV series and older films.
The major difference between the two categories is the age of the films. New films are typically released for rental via TVOD services just four months after they have been released in the cinemas. The same films are available from SVOD services 12-24 months after they have been released in cinemas at the earliest, and often with as much as 60 months' delay.
The TDC Group launched its first digital film rental service in 2006 with a limited number of films. Since then the service has been expanded considerably, and includes, among other things, all films released in Danish cinemas. The TDC Group is Denmark's largest TVOD provider with a market share of more than 50%. The TDC Group also offers film rentals through its YouBio subscription service.