Struggling bookstore chain Barnes & Noble plans to stop manufacturing tablets in-house, but that isn’t stopping the retailer from continuing to build out its multimedia offerings. On Monday, B&N launched Nook Video apps for iOS, Android and Roku. In addition, the company is releasing native Nook Video apps for the Nook Tablet and Nook Color — even though the future of those devices is in doubt, and Barnes & Noble has only committed to selling them through the holiday season.
Nook Video, which the company launched about a year ago, is Barnes & Noble’s attempt to compete with Amazon and Apple’s video offerings. It includes “thousands” of movies and TV shows for à la carte purchasing, but its catalog is still smaller than those of its rivals.
It’s a little unclear why Barnes & Noble is focusing on developing these apps when tablets aren’t part of its long-term strategy. It announced in June that it would stop manufacturing tablets in-house and would focus on e-ink readers going forward; it’s also looking for third-party manufacturers to build co-branded tablets with it. Then-CEO William Lynch said at the time that “the majority of the content sales come from non-tablets” and that e-readers have “been our primary customer acquisition vehicle for content.”
Barnes & Noble releases its quarterly earnings report on Tuesday.