Sears and Sonic Solutions launch online movie service
Sears and Sonic Solutions have publicly launched the Alphaline Entertainment online movie streaming service, offering customers at Sears and K-Mart a method to view movies online once they are released.
Sonic is now developing a mobile Alphaline Entertainment portal and a custom widget for HDTVs as the companies prepare to work together for the next few years. Sonic and Sears look to bundle the new streaming service into mobile phones, Blu-ray players, and other electronics sold online and at retail stores across the country.
“The Sears launch represents an important milestone for Sonic, with another RoxioNow-powered storefront now open for business,” said Mark Ely, Sonic Solutions President of Strategy, in a press statement. “We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Sears and bringing Alphaline Entertainment to consumers through a broad range of connected devices.”
Ely is correct in that RoxioNow has another important partner moving forward, but I’m unsure what influence (if any) Sears still has on the tech market. Will customers really care about streaming movies? Does Sears still draw enough customers to make this online deal relevant? How will the Sears streaming service differentiate itself from the other major players such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Apple TV and Blockbuster?
However, this is more of a victory for Sonic and its RoxioNow platform, as the company continues to find new business partners. Sears and Kmart will just provide the namebrand push necessary to embed Sonic’s solutions online, and will be joined by other companies in 2011 looking to stream content.
Sears was expected to launch an online movie streaming service before the end of the year, and the addition of same-day viewing is important. Redbox and Netflix have been forced into 28-day new release rental delays for movies from many studios, but Netflix also has a major online presence.
Sonic is looking to create new partnerships and continue to adapt to an evolving home entertainment market that has relied more on streaming services.
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