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Do People Really Think Best Buy's Retread Of CinemaNow Will Eat Into Netflix And Blockbuster?

from the am-I-missing-something? dept

CinemaNow was one of the dreadful early Hollywood attempts at offering streaming videos online. Pretty much since it launched it was considered a joke that no one used. However, Best Buy last year announced a "partnership" with the latest owners of CinemaNow, Sonic Solutions, and have now announced that they've also bought the name CinemaNow. Best Buy has now announced it will be using the name for a new movie download service still powered by the same tech as the old CinemaNow. Got that? Of course, the press is saying will compete with Netflix and Blockbuster's streaming offerings -- and the stock of both companies took a hit. But, it's difficult to see what's all that compelling about this new service. Unlike the popular "all you can eat" models, Best Buy's will be $4 per movie download with $15 for full "purchase." Those prices seem quite high, especially when you can find used DVDs for half that or less. Plus, why bother going to Best Buy for all of this?

At least some in the press wonder what all the fuss is about:
Best Buy is hoping to rent digital flicks for $4, and sell permanent downloads for roughly $15 apiece. Those prices aren't all that different from what Blockbuster and Amazon.com have been trying to do for several quarters -- and those companies haven't exactly set the digital realm on fire.

Bulls will argue that Best Buy has certain chain-specific advantages. It can promote the service within its stores, and bundle home theater systems with pre-paid rentals.

So how is Best Buy's scorecard on that front? The company teamed up with TiVo for a strategic alliance last summer, yet the DVR pioneer continues to shed subscribers. Best Buy acquired Napster two years ago, yet Best Buy is still an afterthought in digital music.

Sure, Best Buy sells a ton of DVD and Blu-ray discs. Now, it can tack on digital copies through CinemaNow, and all will be perfect... right?

What's that? Wal-Mart teamed up with Time Warner four years ago to do this with the DVD release of Superman Returns, and it was retail kryptonite? Uh oh.
Basically, this seems like yet another case of "well if we offer service combined with a big brand, people will just have to use it," rather than any look at coming up with at truly compelling offering.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Brian (profile), May 18th, 2010 @ 7:46pm

    Geek Squad

    Nah, with Best Buy they will add in a Geek Squad service for this, at the cost of about two arms or an arm and half a leg. This service will 'configure' your computer for optimal video receiving.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), May 18th, 2010 @ 8:46pm

    There is a sucker born every minute ...

    "Best Buy's will be $4 per movie download with $15 for full "purchase." "

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Mikecancook, May 18th, 2010 @ 9:33pm

    Re: There is a sucker born every minute ...

    Seriously? Does anyone think a $4 rental is worth it? And $15 purchase for a digital copy? What happens when you don't like their service and want to leave? Are you tied to their DRM? These people are on crack

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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    zegota (profile), May 18th, 2010 @ 10:13pm

    To be fair...

    I'm not sure Superman Returns is the best test case. The movie itself was pretty much kryptonite.

     

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    MarksAngel (profile), May 18th, 2010 @ 10:51pm

    And how does this outdo my subscription with netflix?

    Netflix cost less and lets me get copies of a movie at home, plus I have the added bonus of Netflix on demand. Believe me I learned a long time ago the hard way that anything with best buys name attached is something you should stay far away from.

    Thanks but no thanks

     

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  6.  
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    AJ, May 18th, 2010 @ 11:10pm

    Or...

    you could rent it from redbox for $1. And buy the used DVD for less than $10 and make your own (legal) backup digital copy.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Dohn Joe, May 18th, 2010 @ 11:49pm

    Why Kryptonite?

    Is it DRMed to death? I can't see any other reason this wouldn't be compelling - I would love nothing more than to download my favorite shows/movies in my preferred format. It would be great if the big studios finally decided to enter the arena where "pirates" are offering "product" that they currently are not...of course "competing" even on format selection and quality of encoding alone is another matter.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 4:54am

    How long does a "permanent download" last? Why don't they just say it is a long term rental that will be revoked sometime in the future when our business model proves to suck?

     

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  9.  
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    Michial Thompson, May 19th, 2010 @ 5:06am

    What happened little mikee m?

    What happened mikee? Did Best Buy piss on your toasties by not giving you the free whatever you are so entitled too?

    Your post sure sounds pretty jaded, perhaps your getting more and more frustrated as you reach puberty and realize that nothing in this world is free, and all that free breast milk is running out quick???

    Best Buy is a big boy playing in a big world, if they don't make enough money off of their new purchase they will either adjust the business model or eliminate it. Either way it's their right as owners of that business to make the decissions that they so choose.

     

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    Thomas Bodetti (profile), May 19th, 2010 @ 5:43am

    best buy or worst buy

    Not well thought out, bad business plan, as well this company has not had a good lipper average, hmmm, sounds like a bad investment.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 6:17am

    I don't want shite to do with best buy

     

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    CrushU, May 19th, 2010 @ 2:29pm

    Somethin Struck Me

    Basically, this seems like yet another case of "well if we offer service combined with a big brand, people will just have to use it," rather than any look at coming up with at truly compelling offering.


    It's occurred to me that the only company able to do this is Apple. (The computers, not the record label.) And really, they only manage it because their hardware is physically incable of using other software, so people DO have to just use it...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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    Anonymous Coward, May 19th, 2010 @ 9:04pm

    Re: What happened little mikee m?

    Don't get lost in all the ad hominem and straw men.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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    TtfnJohn (profile), May 20th, 2010 @ 6:30am

    Re: What happened little mikee m?

    The post sounds jaded because, as is pointed out, others have tried and failed with the big brand branding and spectacularly failed. So there's reason to be.

    Oh, by the way the air we all breathe is free so you're wrong there.

    Best Buy's management doesn't own the business the shareholders do but I know that wouldn't mean anything when the point is an ad hominem attack for no better reason than to troll.

    I don't know what, price point wise, Best Buy's position in the US is but up here in Canada they're expensive, limited selection and can be beaten in price, selection and service by the likes of Office Depot, WalMart, London Drugs, Future Shop and whatever ma and pa corner computer store you care to mention. So much for their business model.

    Maybe they want to break into the upper echelon of retail?

    ttfn

    John

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Cody Jackson (profile), May 22nd, 2010 @ 7:55am

    Sounds like Apple TV

    Apple is doing the exact same thing through the Apple TV, except they can actually make money from the hardware. BB is only relying on the software, which just isn't going to happen.

    I have an Apple TV but I only use it for renting movies and watching some of my ripped movies. I won't buy anything because of the DRM Apple puts on videos.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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