Best Buy wants a piece of the booming digital movie distribution business — and it has brokered a new deal with CinemaNow parent company Sonic Solutions to get it. Movie buffs will soon be able to download films directly from BestBuy.com, and through select devices the company sells in-store. This is the second major distribution deal CinemaNow has scored this year, since it’s supposed to power Blockbuster’s online movie service (which, coincidentally is supposed to launch this quarter).
Neither company offered up details on when the service will go live — nor which devices will have the CinemaNow download capabilities — but if it’s similar to the Blockbuster (NYSE: BBI) deal, then consumers will likely be able to get movie downloads on set-top boxes, Blu-Ray players, and even phones. CinemaNow’s licensing deals also make it so that some films will be available for download on the same day they’re released on DVD.
Best Buy spokesman Justin Barber told Video Business that it was just the “first step in continuing to move into the digital movie space.” It follows the launch of Best Buy’s new digital media funding arm (to be managed by Fuse Capital — formerly Velocity). As to whether this new deal should have competitors like Netflix (NSDQ: NFLX) and Blockbuster worried — it’s not clear — since the market is still wide open, and it seems that consumers want to get their movie downloads from as many distributors as possible. Release.