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 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.

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Companies: best buy, blockbuster, netflix

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

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Dohn Joe (user link) says:

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.

Michial Thompson (user link) says:

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.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

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?



CrushU says:

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…

Cody Jackson (profile) says:

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.

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