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April 17, 2009

Rumor: With DVD Sales Down, Best Buy Bends to Digital Technology

By Michael Dinan, TMCnet Editor

In a concession to digital technology’s growing popularity among consumers seeking entertainment, electronics giant Best Buy Inc. reportedly is hatching a movie service.

According to this article by Susanne Ault and Jennifer Netherby of Variety.com, plummeting DVD sales forced Best Buy’s hand to forge a partnership with CinemaNow and other online movie services. The reporters cite unnamed sources.
“Details on how exactly Best Buy would benefit from a potential partnership with CinemaNow, and others, are still being finalized,” Variety.com reports. “But one possibility is that Best Buy would market and sell Web-enabled devices – from TVs to Blu-ray players – that would include built-in access to CinemaNow’s library. Such devices may roll out as soon as this summer. Best Buy would presumably share in the revenues generated from downloads or streaming with CinemaNow or another provider.”
The move marks the latest in a series of moves that companies who sell DVDs are making as technologies such as set-top boxes and online stores, and services such as Netflix movie rentals, take a big bite out of the film market.
As TMCnet reported, Blockbuster Inc. recently joined TiVo Inc. in a move that will see the movie rental giant’s library of digital movie titles come directly to TiVo’s (News - Alert) DVR boxes. Warner Bros. also has introduced a made-to-order DVD service and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd United Kingdom opened a virtual mobile movie store.
It isn’t clear just how Best Buy and manufacturers will collaborate for the reported new digital movie-enabled devices.
According to Variety.com, CinemaNow “has pushed to offer its download service through a variety of devices and partnerships.”
“Previously, Best Buy had been working to launch its own separate branded download store,” the reporters say. “It appears these plans fell through some time in 2007.”

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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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