Target takes on iTunes with Target Ticket OTT service

Michelle Clancy | 03-09-2013

Target is prepping its iTunes-like video service, which would give the retailer an electronic sell-through (EST) profile, according to reports.

Sources speaking to TechCrunch confirmed that the Target Ticket service is about to launch in wide release after a beta period. It will allow consumers to rent and purchase digital copies of movies and television shows for playback across a variety of mobile and connected devices, including smartphones, tablets, TVs, Blu-ray players and game consoles. Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players, along with electronics from Panasonic, LG, Philips and Funai, are all compatible with the service.
Rather than being a proprietary EST service like iTunes though, Target Ticket offers support for the Ultraviolet digital locker service, which allows people to store their content online in a Dropbox-like repository and then pull it down wherever they are.
As far as content, users will have instant access to 15,000 titles, including a range of movies and current and past-season content from ABC, AMC, CBS, CW, Fox, FX, HBO, The WB, NBC, Showtime, Starz and USA. In some cases movies will be available for purchase ahead of DVD releases, including Paramount's Star Trek: Into Darkness, TechCrunch reported.
Movies will cost $12.99-$14.99 to buy and rentals will cost $3.99/$4.99. TV episodes will cost $2.99, with complete seasons coming in at $35. The pricing overall is comparable to iTunes, but Target is outdoing Apple on the viewing windows. Users will have 48 hours to complete a film or TV show after they start watching it; and they have 30 days to start watching it in the first place.