Barnes & Noble takes on Amazon with Nook Video

Michelle Clancy | 27-09-2012

Barnes & Noble, following in the footsteps of fellow bookseller, is launching a new over-the-top (OTT) streaming service, Nook Video, for its wildly popular Nook Color and Nook Tablet e-readers.

Like AMazon's Kindle Fire gambit, Nook Video aims to leverage the captive audience that a bookstore-specific tablet engenders for additional incremental revenue. It's also a little bit of a tablestakes issue at this point: while Nook outstrips Kindle in market share (25 to 22% respectively, according to self-reporting), analysts including IDC say that Kindle is pulling ahead in the most recent quarter.

And, Amazon has really been turning on the heat lately with the content proposition, especially with the Amazon Prime $79 per year free shipping subscription, which throws in streaming video for no extra cost.

B&N, the No. 1 bookseller in the United States, said that it will sell and rent movies and TV shows from HBO, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Starz, Viacom and Warner Bros. Entertainment for now, and films from Walt Disney Studios. It supports the Ultraviolet digital locker initiative, and also offers the Nook Cloud function (similar to Apple's iCloud), which gives users access to purchased or rented content from the Web or via dedicated mobile or STB app.

"Our new Nook Video service will give our customers another way to be entertained with a vast and growing digital video collection," B&N CEO Bill Lynch said, in a statement.