Best Buy Co. is jumping into the game of streaming movies to customers from the comfort of their homes. The retailer announced a multi-year partnership today with Sonic Solutions, the makers of DVD-burning suite from Roxio Software.
Best Buy will use streaming service CinemaNow, which Sonic acquired last year, to let customers rent or buy movies at their whim on certain consumer electronics devices sold at Best Buy. The retailer plans to add the on-demand feature to TVs, portable media players, computers, Blu-ray Disc players, set-top boxes and mobile phones. It also plans to toss in a marketing budget to educate consumers on digital delivery.
The new service joins a growing number of companies using the Internet to get movies to the home TV. Netflix, which has been popping up on game consoles and other devices, offers an all-you-can stream service for a minimum of $8.99 per month. Amazon’s Video on Demand lets customers rent or buy individual movies and stream them on a TV. Blockbuster also now offers movie rentals on demand, starting at $2.99 (thanks Ride On).
CinemaNow currently charges $1.99 for TV shows and $9.99 to $19.99 to download movies. This includes the ability to watch an unlimited number of viewings on up to 3 devices. The rental fees are $2.99 to $3.99 and offer movies for a 24-hour period.
Best Buy plans to offer movies on the same day they are available on DVD. Also, it plans to use the actual DVD to help sell digital copies of the same movie.
The New York Times story on the deal (see “Best Buy Prepares for the Post-DVD Era“) says the idea of mixing the two “is to let consumers pay once for a DVD and then eventually be able to play it on any device: television, Blu-ray disc player, personal computer, handheld media player or smartphone,” Chris Homeister, senior vice president for entertainment at Best Buy, told the paper’s Bits Blog.
The service will start early next year.
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