Barnes & Noble -- in a bid to keep pace with tablet rivals Apple, Amazon.com, Google and Microsoft -- plans a fall launch of Nook Video, featuring movies and original TV shows from networks and studios including HBO, Starz Entertainment, Viacom, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Warner Bros. Entertainment and The Walt Disney Studios.
The Nook Video service will offer transactional content like iTunes, and is not a subscription-based service like Netflix or Amazon.com’s Prime Instant Video. Nook Video will be accessible via Barnes & Noble’s Nook tablets, as well as TVs, other tablets and smartphones. The company said it has other content deals in the works.
The service, launching this fall in the U.S. and during the holiday season in the U.K., will provide standard-definition and HD movies and TV shows for streaming and download.
The Nook Video lineup will offer Disney-Pixar’s Brave and Toy Story 3 and Marvel’s The Avengers, along with other selections including 21 Jump Street, Awkward, The Artist, Breaking Bad, Dora the Explorer, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Spartacus, Magic City, The Walking Dead, True Blood, Game of Thrones, The Dark Knight,The Hangover and Warner Bros.' Harry Potter movies.
In addition, Nook Video will integrate a customer’s compatible physical DVD and Blu-ray Disc purchases and digital video collection across their devices through UltraViolet, the “digital locker” technology and service backed by Hollywood studios and others.
“As one of the world’s largest retailers of physical video discs and digital copyrighted content, our new Nook Video service will give our customers another way to be entertained with a vast and growing digital video collection, as part of our expansive Nook Store,” Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch said in announcing the service. “The launch of our new digital video service with our longtime studio partners allows us to bring award-winning current and classic movies, TV shows, documentaries and more to millions of customers’ screens, coming soon.”
Viacom sees Nook Video as “another opportunity for our audiences to enjoy their favorite shows from across MTV, VH1, CMT, Logo, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, TV Land, Spike and BET wherever they go,” Denise Denson, executive vice president of content distribution and marketing at Viacom, said in a statement. “The Nook is a dynamic tablet with a beautiful display and we are excited to provide content from Viacom's media networks on this enhanced portable, platform.”
As with the Nook Reading apps, the Nook Video content and apps are stored in the cloud, letting customers pick up watching where they left off on any of their connected devices. The Nook tablet already provides an app for Netflix subscribers to access streaming video.