blockbuster on demand

You really have to feel for Blockbuster. After filing for bankruptcy in 2010, the one-time video rental giant has struggled to make any sort of comeback in a market now dominated by digital services like Netflix. But that doesn’t mean it’s going to stop trying.

Today, the company announced that it has launched a new iOS application for its On Demand streaming service. The app will allow you to rent and watch movies from Blockbuster’s library of over 100,000 titles (across all genres) from your iPhone or iPad…

From its App Store description:

“Blockbuster On Demand is a digital movie rental service that allows you to instantly watch thousands of movies in stunning HD and full Surround Sound. This free app gives you the ability to enjoy movies directly on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.

Blockbuster On Demand features:

-Thousands of hit movies and new releases – rent and watch instantly or save to your Watchlist and view later
-Tons of movies you love – hand-selected titles with the highest ratings from Rotten Tomatoes®
-Stream Instantly — phone, tablet, laptop, Samsung Smart TV, Roku, and more
-Amazing sound and video – stunning HD movies in full Surround Sound
-Easy shopping and viewing – prime movie watching experience
-No subscription or late fees – pay only for what you watch”

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Blockbuster’s streaming service, it’s actual a bit unconventional. Instead of paying a monthly subscription fee like you do with Netflix or Hulu, you only pay for the movies you watch. And each rental cost about $3.

As for the app itself, I’m not really impressed. Admittedly, all my free account allows me to do is browse movies. But the library seems to take forever to load, and the entire UX just feels sluggish. I also couldn’t find any indication that it supports AirPlay.

In the end, I’m not sure why you would choose to use Blockbuster On Demand over say, renting movies from iTunes. But for those that do use the service, you’ll obviously want to grab this app. Not because it’s good, necessarily, just because it’s the only option.

You can find Blockbuster On Demand, for both the iPhone and the iPad, in the App Store for free.