* B&N in deals with HBO, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney
* Service to start in U.S. in autumn
* Shares up 2.2 percent
By Phil Wahba
Sept 25 Barnes & Noble Inc is launching
a video streaming and download service this autumn for its Nook
e-books and device business in the latest volley in its battle
to keep up with Amazon.com Inc.
Barnes & Noble, the largest U.S. bookstore chain, said on
Tuesday the Nook video service will allow shoppers to buy movies
and television shows from Time Warner Inc's HBO; Viacom
Inc ; Sony Pictures Home Entertainment ;
and Walt Disney Studios. It will announce other studio
partnerships soon, it said.
The company, whose Nook tablets and e-readers have found
favor with shoppers, faces intense competition from Amazon,
which already offers the Prime Instant Video service that offers
videos for purchase, and makes the Kindle Fire tablet.
Amazon also has a subscription service linked to Prime,
which offers free two-day shopping service within the United
States and costs $79 a year.
Earlier this month, Amazon signed a three-year deal with
Hollywood studio Epix that will add thousands of movies to
Amazon's video streaming library.
Adding videos is necessary for the Nook devices to keep pace
with Amazon's Kindle devices, which are used by customers to
shop not only for books and entertainment but for a wide array
of products on its website. That gives the online retailer an
enormous advantage over Barnes & Noble.
"Unfortunately for Barnes & Noble, a bookstore, they're
going to eventually have to sell everything in order to make
their devices competitive," Forrester Research analyst James
McQuivey said in an interview.
Barnes & Noble's Nook devices, which McQuivey said are
better than Kindles in some instances, have allowed the
bookseller to win as much as 30 percent of the U.S. e-books
market, according to its own estimates.
The Nook Video service will launch in the United States this
autumn, and in the United Kingdom, where Barnes & Noble will
start selling Nook devices, also this autumn - in time for the
Videos that are streamed and downloaded from Barnes &
Noble's Nook store will be stored in the Nook Cloud. Video
content can be watched on Nook devices as well as other devices
once Barnes & Noble launches a free application.
Nook Video will also allow users to integrate their DVD and
Blu-Ray discs and digital video collection across devices
through media service UltraViolet.
Barnes & Noble shares were up 2.2 percent to $13.01 in