Best Buy partnering with CinemaNow on movie download service

Big box electronics retailer Best Buy is throwing its big hat in the ring to become the latest player in the congested segment of online movie download services, going head-to-head with Apple, NetFlix and Amazon.

The company today announced it’ll partner with Sonic Solution’s Roxio CinemaNow. CinemaNow was one of the earliest online movie suppliers. It has a library of some 20,000 titles, mostly new releases, but has been left in the dust by the Big Three, not to mention VOD offered by cable companies and other providers who control STBs.

Best Buy will shoulder its way into the competition by embedding software into TVs and Blu-ray players it sells under its brand name, but also is talking with other electronics manufacturers--including computer and mobile phone manufacturers--about including its software in their products. Best Buy hopes to offer the as-yet-unnamed service before the end of the year.

"Our relationship with Sonic Solutions allows Best Buy to quickly establish a strong position in the digital delivery of video entertainment," said Brian Dunn, CEO of Best Buy. "It also enables us to make deeper and more meaningful connections with our customers and expand our relationships with content owners and hardware vendors to create compelling new home entertainment solutions."

Together with their Studio partners, Best Buy and Sonic plan to also collaborate on new service and content offerings, including those that leverage digital copies to bridge physical disc sales and electronic sell through. Movies rented with CinemaNow don't require a subscription and titles can be purchased or rented a la carte. Best Buy said it also plans to eventually expand the service to include TV shows.

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