Best Buy in the Digital Content Biz

best_buy tag logoRyan Lawler over at Contentinople has put two and two together and come to the conclusion that Best Buy is taking aim at the digital media space. The clue trail actually started last fall with Best Buy’s acquisition of Napster for music, but then last week Lawler noted that Best Buy’s partnership with TiVo and Sonic makes it possible for the retailer to sell video titles from CinemaNow directly to consumers on their HDTV screens. And here’s the kicker. Today Lawler reports that both LG and Samsung will be launching HD sets “and other devices” with an embedded Best Buy digital storefront by year’s end. (Note: Samsung also has a deal in place to embed Blockbuster OnDemand)

It’s interesting to watch a retailer trying to expand its business model in the digital world. Beyond that, however, it’s fascinating to see how the digital living room is evolving. Lots of companies are gunning for consumer attention on their TVs. Best Buy is throwing itself into the ring with the likes of Blockbuster, Amazon, and Netflix, but also with cable, telco, and satellite operators. On the side of independent providers, like Best Buy, is the ability (potentially) to bring an innovative and intuitive interface to consumers, and the ability (again, potentially) to negotiate for a broad selection of video titles.  On the side of the operators, however, is the ability to weave premium content in with the rest of the TV experience, and eventually take their offerings across multiple platforms they already own – broadband, TV, and wireless. Both sides have a serious shot at being successful, but of course, it’s all in the execution. If wishes were ponies…

3 thoughts on “Best Buy in the Digital Content Biz”

  1. It sounds like Best Buy is trying to avoid becoming another Circuit City. Another interesting angle on this story is how it relates to Blu Ray – it seems more and more like Blu Ray may never gain traction, as companies and consumers pass by it and go right to digital downloads.

  2. Evan- good point. And it’s not something I would have guessed given how people have hung on to DVDs. I thought the progression to digital would be slower and more tempered by the quality of blu ray.

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