On Tuesday, Target Corp. will launch a digital entertainment service called Target Ticket. With more than 30,000 movie and TV titles (some next-day TV shows will be available), the new service will operate pay-as-you-go.
The fast-evolving market for digital video is a fierce mosh pit of competition, and Minneapolis-based Target is relatively late to the game. Subscription-based services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, where customers pay monthly or annual fees, dominate the space — along with Apple's iTunes and even Wal-Mart's Vudu service, among others.
Target plans to differentiate itself by simplifying the process of downloading and streaming content, especially since "a significant portion of our guests have yet to adapt to digital video," said Anne Stanchfield, Target's division merchandise manager of entertainment. In addition, Target hopes to stand out by offering parental controls, early access to some popular shows and a 5 percent discount for its Redcard patrons. Target says its Ticket service will be available on PCs, Macs, Xbox 360, Androids and iOS, Roku, Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players with an eye toward compatibility for every Internet-ready device by the end of next year. Prices will range from 99 cents to $36.99.