InMotion Pictures' service is aiming to capitalize on the growing popularity of DVD players in a setting where a good movie can ease the frustration of an unexpected layover. The small Jacksonville, Fla.-based company rents DVD players and movies at airports around the country.
In 1999, DVD players were the fastest-selling product in consumer electronics history, with sales of more than 4 million units, according to the Consumer Electronics Association. The CEA expects DVD players to continue their strong growth into 2001.
Portable units, which combine a battery-powered DVD player and a petite viewing screen, account for a small minority of overall DVD hardware sales. But numbers are expected to climb as the units--currently averaging around $1,000--come down in price.
Services for airline passengers, such as InMotion, are also becoming more popular because of the increasing number of delayed flights, according to Eugene Laney, a manager at the National Business Travel Association.
"Delayed flights have been fueling the fire for new service ideas," said Laney. "If travelers have to stay in an airport longer, businesses have a captive audience."
For $10 a day, travelers can rent a portable DVD player and one movie from one of InMotion's airport kiosks. For those who already own a portable DVD player or who want more than one movie a day, movies can be rented for $5 for five days. The company has over 200 titles for rent.
Passengers simply fill out a membership form online or at one of the airport locations. They can rent and return players and movies from any of the eight airports where the service is currently available. Renters can also return movies through the mail using a prepaid mailer from InMotion.
The 2-year-old company has kiosks at airports in Portland, Ore; Minneapolis; Atlanta; Cincinnati; Seattle; Denver; San Jose, Calif.; and San Diego, Calif. The service will find its way into airports in Orlando, Fla; Jacksonville, Fla.; New York (LaGuardia); San Francisco; Las Vegas; Anchorage, Alaska; and Vancouver, Canada, by the end of June.
"We've seen acceptance grow as more people see the service," said Barney Freedman, an InMotion executive vice president. "We're building a core of repeat customers and that will be key for our growth."
Another company that understands the movie rental business, Blockbuster, invested in InMotion last year. Blockbuster is a minority equity partner and has a seat on the board.
InMotion plans to expand into another market analysts say is growing--digital cameras. By the third quarter of this year, InMotion will sell and rent digital cameras to airline passengers.