Digital music plus online DVD rentals equals two hot markets -- with a ton of competitors that sure won't be kissing under the mistletoe. So, how about a dynamic duo? Blockbuster
When it comes to online DVD rentals, an all-out price warrages on between Blockbuster, Wal-Mart, and Netflix
And of course, digital music -- in particular downloading -- is an industry in overdrive, with Apple's
According to The Wall Street Journal, Blockbuster and Roxio will try to provide the best of both worlds by selling cards redeemable for a month of digital music and a month of online DVD rentals for $20. (Napster won't offer the full service but instead "unlimited access" to its library as well as two a la carte song downloads for the month.) The cards, which have a retail value of $29.42, will be available exclusively at RadioShack
This isn't the first time underdogs have sought RadioShack's shelter. (Of course, many people will argue whether Blockbuster is truly an underdog or not, since some think rumors of its problems are highly overrated while others fear a severe cash drain as it scrambles to nail the competition.)
For example, Sirius Satellite Radio
Furthermore, RadioShack always makes me personally pause. Its robust strength in cell phone sales -- and frequent weakness in other areas -- has been an interesting talking point for quite some time now. We'll see how the retailer weathers the holidays and whether it drums up interest in the two-for-one cards, which certainly do tap into two products consumers do want right now, with a price point that doesn't break the bank and is an easy add-on to purchases.
While I can see positive aspects, though, this deal has a bit of a "desperate measures" ring to me. Of course, sometimes that really is what desperate times call for, as companies try to woo newbies or convince hot rivals' users to defect.
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Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.