B&N adds more movies and TV shows to Nook Video, but who’s going to watch?


Barnes & Noble announced Thursday that it’s signed partnerships with a number of studios — Lionsgate (s LGF), MGM, Paramount, Relativity Media, National Geographic, Little Pim and Film Buff — to add new movies and TV shows to Nook Video, the service it launched last fall.

A press release laid out some of the new offerings, including:

“Blockbuster films The Hunger Games, the Twilight movies, Tyler Perry’s Madea Gets a JobSkyfall, Rocky, FargoFlightParanormal Activity 4Act of Valor, Safe Haven, House at the End of the Street; independent films from Film Buff’s catalog including Charles Swan and Exit from the Gift Shop; and TV shows like Mad MenBorder Wars, Great Migrations, Amazing Planet; as well as educational content via Little Pim, the leading foreign language learning program for young children, plus many more.”

The Nook Video store already included content from HBO (s TWX), Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (s SNE), Starz, Viacom (s VIA) and Warner Bros, plus some Disney (s DIS) movies. Barnes & Noble says the store has “thousands” of titles and is adding “thousands and thousands more.”

A number of Nook Video’s offerings are also available for streaming from Netflix (s NFLX) and Amazon (s AMZN) Prime Instant Video. Unlike those companies, Nook doesn’t offer streaming memberships — content has to be purchased à la carte on a Nook tablet. (Barnes & Noble says the content will be able to be streamed from its website soon.) It’s certainly an option for someone who already owns one of these devices, but it’s unlikely to draw users away from Netflix, Amazon or iTunes (s AAPL). Adding these titles is B&N’s attempt to create a viable media ecosystem for Nook — and the company insists it’s “committed” to these devices, even as Nook sales plunged in the last quarter.

This story was updated at 3:24 p.m. ET with a comment from Barnes & Noble on how many titles Nook Video contains.


Kazuya Mishima

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As much as I think it’s a good question to ask, I think it has been beaten to death as well. The competition now is beyond just content, how much you have and how cheap you can make it affordable…we are at a point where “branding” is huge and B&N just don’t get it!

Who wants great apps? Apple’s iPad has it all cover. Who wants cheap ebooks, free streaming and free shipping? Amazon. Who wants cheap and unlocked Android tablets? Google Nexus.

When you talk to anyone about tablets and content…B&N’s Nook simply does not come up on top of anyone’s list. They rely on established loyal users. A cheap Android tablet can be purchase from any of the better known PC brands and there is no need to deal with wall-garden content. Nook is losing on every front and now they are just starting to see the truth. Nook may not be dead but it will NEVER grow beyond their existing users if they don’t work on branding awareness and improve their awful site. Being on the news so often with bad financial numbers isn’t really helping with their brand.

Matt Eagar

The Nook came on strong a couple of years ago, but unfortunately I don’t think the program is well-managed. Personal anecdote: we make remote control systems controlled by mobile devices (iOS, Android, PC). When other companies have launched their app stores, they have called us up looking to bring in a variety of different apps to appeal to customers. For example, Cisco did this with their (ill-fated) Cius app store, we had talks with Dell, are on the Amazon app store, etc. Anyway, we downloaded the Nook SDK and tweaked our Android app to meet their guidelines, but they never approved our developer application – after repeated follow up on our end, we got only silence. In the meantime, I get regular emails from them inviting me to be a Nook developer. If they are so keen to have me as a developer, than why not approve my application (or at least reject it and tell me why)?

Anyway, not surprised to see them struggle, but sadly I think it could have gone otherwise if they knew how to keep on top of the operation.

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