Blockbuster chief Jim Keyes says he's confident that, despite its travails, his chain can compete effectively with the likes of Netflix and Redbox. In an interview with today's (Thursday) Los Angeles Times , Keyes remarked that Blockbuster's role "is changing from the most convenient place to get DVDs to a retail entertainment destination. Here's an analogy If I want to buy an obscure book title, I'll go to Amazon.com. But if I want to browse and see what's new, I will go to Barnes & Noble [stores]." Likewise, Keyes said, his company's "Blockbuster-on-Demand" digital service, which requires customers to pay for each movie they download, can effectively compete against Netflix's subscription streaming service since Blockbuster is able to offer newer releases. "You tell me," Keyes remarked. "Do you want to watch The Blind Side or Herbie Goes to Cancun ? Netflix has a wonderful Internet service for older titles and television. Our customer demand is 60 percent to 80 percent for new releases." Asked whether the studios will continue to allow Blockbuster to rent movies at its kiosks on the same day they are released for sale, Keyes replied, "We're working on that. The difference in our kiosks versus Redbox's is that they are ... an extension of the store, with return capabilities from kiosk to store and vice versa."
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