An agreement that will enable Motorola mobile handset users to stream movies from Blockbuster's OnDemand library of 10,000 titles may pose yet another challenge to the nascent mobile DTV business. Although few details - such as pricing and financial terms - are available, the agreement represents yet another potential competitor for the mindshare, and eye-time, of mobile customers. It's also Blockbuster's first foray into mobile video, quick on the heels of its kiosk rollout plan unveiled earlier this month. Preliminary terms call for selected Motorola handsets to feature an application that directs users to a roster of movie and television titles, including new releases. Subscribers will be able to vew trailers and access ratings and other information before choosing films that are delivered to their handsets for immediate viewing.
The agreement between two floundering companies raises questions about the desperation to find new opportunities in the uncharted territory of mobile video. While research forecasts indicate a great future for handheld viewing, the market is attracting numerous competitors. With mobile DTV, backed by broadcasters and many handset makers, scheduled for next year, consumers will face a broad array of video choices - and prices.