Overstock looks to follow Amazon model with OTT service

Looking to further exploit its substantial Internet and mobile traffic, and better compete with the No. 1 online retailer, Overstock.com plans to launch transactional VOD and SVOD services by the end of 2015.

Speaking to Variety, company CEO Patrick Byrne says Overstock will launch transactional download services (a la Apple's iTunes Store) in mid-2015 and will follow that up in the second half of the year with an SVOD launch the executive describes as a "skinny Netflix," touting around 30,000 titles.

Byrne said Overstock was partnering with an outside vendor that already has program-licensing rights through networks and studios. Vubiquity would seem to meet this description best, but neither side will confirm that right now.

The entry of the No. 2 online retailer into the OTT market has, of course, competitive implications for pay-TV operators. But it has more implications for Amazon, which has enjoyed a unique model in terms of tying its OTT services to its broader retail operations.

The entertainment business, Byrne said, "wants to see a competitor to Amazon for across-the-board digital distribution."

For more:
- read this Variety story

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