It’s official: after announcing six months ago that it had entered into a partnership with Sonic Solutions to offer a movie download service, Sears officially launched its Alphaline Entertainment VOD offering today.
The new service offers new release rentals for $3.99 for two-day rental periods, along with movie purchases for $19.99. Titles can be played on up to five different PCs and transferred to up to four RoxioNow-compatible devices. $1.99 downloads of individual TV show episodes are also available.
Karen Austin, president of consumer electronics for Sears and Kmart, offered the following on the new service:
“Collaborating with Sonic provides a great opportunity for Sears and Kmart to launch digital services for customers seeking even faster access to the latest in home entertainment experiences . . . We’ll continue to increase the reach and flexibility of the Alphaline Entertainment service by providing consumers on-demand access to the latest entertainment from a range of home and mobile electronics,”
BTIG Research analyst Richard Greenfield believes that fewer and fewer consumers will be interested in paying $20 for the privilege of owning a movie, whether it’s on a physical disc or not. Said Greenfield:
“With rental now so convenient between Netflix, Redbox and VOD, we believe consumers will simply stop buying movies, especially when it comes to digital content . . . With a poor consumer experience in digital, we suspect most consumers will gravitate toward lower-priced rental options . . . In turn, as digital adoption accelerates, overall movie industry profitability will fall.”
Over to you, Insiders. Will consumers be interested in yet another VOD service, especially one that charges $20 for a movie purchase? How many of you agree with Greenfield’s comments on the imminent demise of movie ownership?
(via Home Media Magazine)