BestBuy Gets Into Online Movie Rental Business

best_buy_logo_1Best Buy Co. is trying to nudge consumers away from its stores’ DVD aisles by making it easier for them to rent and buy movies over high-speed Internet connections.

The largest U.S. retailer of consumer electronics is setting up its digital delivery service in partnership with CinemaNow, which has deals with the major movie studios.

The software making it possible to shop CinemaNow’s video library will be included on all the Web-connected devices sold in Best Buy’s more than 1,000 U.S. stores. That means consumers who buy flat-panel TVs, Blu-ray players, personal computers and mobile phones from Best Buy would be able to get downloads of videos the same day they are released on DVDs.

The alliance marks the latest step away from the DVD format. Consumers are getting more ways of finding home entertainment with just a few clicks instead of traveling to a video rental store or waiting for a disc to be delivered through the mail.

Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and DVD-by-mail pioneer Netflix Inc. all have been winning over consumers with their own digital delivery systems. Blockbuster Inc. also has a deal with CinemaNow that lets people rent movies over the Internet.

Netflix gave an indication of the growing popularity of new video-delivery methods in its earnings report last month. It said that 42 percent of its subscribers streamed at least 15 minutes of video through its Internet-viewing service during the last quarter, up from 22 percent at the same time last year.

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