Putting Amazon, Google and other video providers on notice, Barnes & Noble this week said it plans to launch a streaming and download service before winter.
Tied directly to its Nook e-books and device business, the forthcoming Nook Video service will initially give consumers access -- on a rental and download basis -- to movies and TV shows from HBO Viacom, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, and Walt Disney Studios.
When the Nook Video service debuts, users will be able to watch video content on their Nooks, as well as other devices, once Barnes & Noble
launches a compatible application. Along with a joint venture with Microsoft earlier in the year, analysts see the video service as part of an aggressive new content strategy by Barnes & Noble.
“We're seeing B&N in building mode here,” Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey said on Tuesday. The new “video service would mean nothing if there weren't some kind of more significant connection to other devices in the future.”
McQuivey, therefore, expects to see more Nook tablets hit the market soon -- “especially a big one to compete with not only the iPad but the new Kindle HD.” With the help of its Nook devices, Barnes & Noble says it currently controls about 30% of the domestic e-books market.
Rival Amazon already offers its Prime Instant Video service, which has videos for purchase and easy integration with its Kindle Fire tablet. Amazon has also found success with a subscription service, which costs $79 a year and boasts free two-day shopping.
In addition to its U.S. buyers, the Nook Video service is also headed for the United Kingdom, where Barnes & Noble has big plans for its Nook e-readers.