BestBuy will provide the service under the brand name CinemaNow. The service will allow users to download latest movies to their connected TV sets, Blue-Ray players and computers at a pay-per-download price. The service is expected to launch by the end of the month and will be powered by Sonic Solutions. Rentals for new movies will be around $2-$4 while complete purchase would be somewhere between $10 to $20 depending on the title.
Unlike Netflix, the service will not offer any subscription based plans. The CinemaNow.com website by Sonic that currently already offers movie downloads will also be relaunched under the new ownership with a much more user-friendly interface. This will put BestBuy in direct competition with Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu, fighting out a market which hasn’t been able to bring in much money yet. Walmart tried a similar thing recently by acquiring Vudu but hasn’t been able to make a big impact in the industry yet.
The only two things that can help BestBuy take over this market is offering latest titles and providing the service on a wide array of devices. Theoretically, BestBuy shouldn’t have a problem with either of these factors and if BestBuy can offer the service on a large number of devices that would make it different than services like Netflix and Hulu that only work on a limited number of devices.