Can Barnes and Noble’s Nook Win Fans with This New Feature?

While Barnes & Noble’s (NYSE:BKS) book-selling business has benefited from the demise of former rival Borders, the bookseller announced Tuesday that it will launch Nook Video in the fall, as part of an effort to stimulate growth. To date, shares in the company are down 12 percent this year.

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Nook Video will not be a subscription service, but rather movies and television shows will be offered as downloads and as streaming video, similar to Amazon’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Instant Video and Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Play. No word has been given on how much the service will cost, but as a comparison, Instant Video charges $79 annually, Netflix’s (NASDAQ:NFLX) Unlimited Streaming Video plan costs $7.99 per month, and Google’s Play charges by the purchase.

While Nook tablets and e-readers have been fairly popular with Barnes & Noble shoppers, in order to be competitive with Amazon’s Kindle, Nook devices must have access to extensive content. So far, the service will allow users to purchase movies and television shows from HBO, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, STARZ, Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB), Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), and Warner Bros. Entertainment, with more content to be added in coming months. Earlier this year, Amazon signed a three-year deal with the Hollywood studio Epix, which will add thousands of movies to its video library. Previously, Netflix held an exclusive contract with Epix, but it expired at the beginning of September.

The downloaded content will be stored by cloud-based technology, which will allow users to access shows and movies on the Nook tablet, as well as other devices using soon-to-launch Nook Video applications.

“As one of the world’s largest retailers of physical video discs and digital copyrighted content, our new Nook Video service will give our customers another way to be entertained with a vast and growing digital video collection,” said Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, William J. Lynch, in a statement.

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