Sears has launched a new online movie download service called Alphaline Entertainment. It lets customers of Sears and Kmart download movies the day they're released on TV.
The offering comes with a multi-year agreement with Sonic Solutions, which involves Sonic's RoxioNow platform to extend its reach. RoxioNow powers digital services for retailers, cable operators, manufacturers, etc. Sonic Solutions and Sears are working together to embed the RoxioNow services into various devices, such as Blu-ray players, mobile phones, and TVs.
"Collaborating with Sonic provides a great opportunity for Sears and Kmart to launch digital services for customers seeking even faster access to the latest in home entertainment experiences," said Karen Austin, President of Consumer Electronics for Sears and Kmart. "We'll continue to increase the reach and flexibility of the Alphaline Entertainment service by providing consumers on-demand access to the latest entertainment from a range of home and mobile electronics."
"The Sears launch represents an important milestone for Sonic, with another RoxioNow-powered storefront now open for business," said Mark Ely, President of Strategy, Sonic Solutions. "We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Sears and bringing Alphaline Entertainment to consumers through a broad range of connected devices."
Clearly, the service will compete with services from Amazon and iTunes, but may also have some impact services like Netflix (which may be getting ready for some big expansion). It could even compete with Google TV, because consumers may be forced to decide whether they want a Blu-ray player that supports this or one that comes with Google TV.
Either way, it's clear that connected devices and services that utilize them are going to be big business in 2011, and it's gong to be an increasingly interesting space to watch.