Blockbuster Looks At Less

Live Nation may lose a few of its brick-and-mortar ticketing outlets if Blockbuster follows through on its plan to close as many as 960 stores by the end of next year.

Live Nation forged a deal in January to sell tickets inside the Blockbuster chain, where Live Nation has sold blocks of tickets hours before they were available online. Live Nation expected 10 percent of its ticket sales to come through Blockbuster stores.

Blockbuster has not made a final decision on the 20 percent downsizing. However, according to CEO James Keyes, the company wants to mirror Coinstar Inc.’s Redbox and have more kiosks in the stores of other merchants. Blockbuster hopes to have 10,000 kiosks next year; it has about 500.

“We could have fewer physical stores and still have more rental points for our customers,” Keyes said.

Blockbuster has closed 276 of its stores so far this year and currently maintains 4,356.

The Live Nation agreement was a boon to Blockbuster, which has seen its primary income depleted by Netflix and Redbox. Unlike Blockbuster, Netflix is becoming more profitable and has earned $55 million through the first half of the year versus Blockbuster’s $15 million loss.