BestBuy is considering launching a digital movie service that will roll out this summer, in cooperation with CinemaNow, the company that built a similar system for Blockbuster. The idea: the retailer could sell its Insignia Blu-ray players with the streaming feature built-in, splitting the subscription cost with CinemaNow and putting a little revenue cushion in between itself and the flagging market for consumer electronics.
Meanwhile, BestBuy's would-be movie competitor, Netflix, is refining its already-successful model by adding more acute movie recommendations for its users. Instead of lumping films into general genres like "action" or "comedy," Netflix announced yesterday that it will parse films within those categories into smaller, more deliberate groupings. That, in turn, should make recommendations fewer and more interesting.
The changes have been years in the making, but couldn't come at a more auspicious time for Netflix. As Apple, Amazon and Blockbuster bolster their competing services, Netflix will have to do everything in its power to keep the behemoths at bay, making the bar of entry even higher for BestBuy.