No longer content to be a wallflower at the streaming-video party, Barnes & Noble announced today that it will launch a new video service this fall, called (not surprisingly) Nook Video. The service will include popular movies and TV shows from several content partners, including Disney, HBO, Sony, Starz, and Warner Bros.
Nook Video will offer a collection of standard- and high-definition movies, TV shows, and original series for rental or purchase. The content (stored in the Nook cloud service) will be available on Nook devices, of course, but it will also be accessible to TVs, computers, tablets, and smart phones. Customers will also be able to link their UltraViolet accounts to the Nook Cloud so they can view new and previously purchased DVD and Blu-ray movies on Nook devices. B&N plans to release a free Nook Video app for these devices.
The offerings available from Nook Video—which will include some major studio releases, such as Marvel's The Avenger, Disney-Pixar's Brave, and Warner Bros.' The Dark Knight—will be a la carte rentals or purchases, more like on-demand services such as Amazon Instant Video and Vudu than like subscription services such as Netflix or Amazon Prime. (Netflix is also available on Nook devices.) So far, pricing and the launch date haven't been announced.
The move into the video-streaming space takes B&N's competition with Amazon up another notch, fueling speculation that Barnes & Noble may be prepping new hardware that can take advantage of the new content. Stay tuned for more information about the Nook Video services as it's released.
—James K. Willcox