updated 05:45 pm EST, Tue November 3, 2009
Best Buy deal to give online movies as bonus
Best Buy today struck a deal with Roxio to create a unique online and DVD hybrid movie service for the big-box retailer. The unnamed project hopes to give users buy once, play anywhere privileges: those who buy a DVD in-store will then have access to a CinemaNow-based portal for watching movies both on computers as well as on smartphones and Internet-aware Blu-ray players. Many of the movies will be new releases instead of reprints or old titles.
Most details aren't yet public, but Best Buy plans to launch the initiative in early 2010. Studios are considered the primary obstacle as they are often hesitant to provide new movies through online services, but the necessity of buying a hard copy is expected to assuage some of these fears. Some studios still remain hesitant about providing movies to online-only services like iTunes and often limit the ability to purchase or rent for the first few weeks.
The effort is an acknowledged attempt to brace Best Buy for a transition to a primarily Internet-only video era. Linking Internet viewing to existing DVD sales will theoretically expose customers to a Best Buy-controlled video platform that they can eventually rely on exclusively when physical media is no longer a feasible option in stores. Best Buy has also remained partly service-independent and just last month added Netflix to its Insignia players to extend their longevity beyond Blu-ray.