Blockbuster Inc., the sister concern of DISH Network Corp. (DISH - Analyst Report) has released an application for smartphones running on Google Inc.’s Android operating system. The latest offering from Blockbuster will be of much convenience to customers as the demand for mobile internet continues to rise.
The users of the application will be able to browse a list of more than 100,000 movie and game titles, manage their Blockbuster By mail accounts apart from checking the title availability at local Blockbuster stores while on the move. Additionally, the application will allow the users to search movie synopsis, sort a film by actors and genres and find out local Blockbuster stores among others.
The Blockbuster application is compatible with Google’s Gingerbread and Jellybean operating system and can be downloaded from Google Play and Amazon.Com Inc. (AMZN - Analyst Report) app store free of cost. Both Blockbuster members and non members can avail the application. Blockbuster is also planning to launch a similar application for Apple Inc.’s (AAPL - Analyst Report) iOS platform.
DISH Network acquired Blockbuster Inc. on May 2, 2011 for $228 million. The acquisition enabled DISH Network to offer several movie streaming services over the Internet, thus efficiently countering the competitive threats from cheap online movie distribution companies like Netflix, Inc. (NFLX - Analyst Report) and Hulu.
At present, the U.S. pay TV market is getting saturated on the back of stiff competition from other cable and telecom players. Moreover, sluggish economic recovery coupled with a continuous increase in cable prices have forced most of the subscribers to cut their cord and opt for cheaper online video services.
Higher proliferation of smartphones and tablets has increased the demand for online games and HD movie downloads. We believe that the popularity of Android-based smartphones will only fuel the demand for this application, which in turn will improve Blockbuster’s attractiveness.
We retain our long-term Neutral recommendation on Dish Network. Currently, it holds a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold).