Barnes & Noble last week noted that Q3 Nook revenues were down some 28% over last year on a hardware slump, but the company also saw a rise of 13.1% on content sales — and today it’s announcing some key deals that it hopes will boost that line of business even further. Today the retailer announced deals with Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount, Relativity Media, National Geographic, Little Pim and indie specialist Film Buff to provide film and TV shows for its Nook Video service.
Financial terms of the deal — which will see the content streamed on demand to Nook HD 7-inch HD tablet, and NOOK® HD+, 9-inch HD tablet — were not disclosed. It looks like the deals cover just the U.S. but we have reached out to B&N to confirm this. The Nook is also available in selected markets outside of the U.S. such as the UK, and B&N boasts some 3 million apps, books, magazines, videos and other content available for it.
The move signals B&N looking to beef up content as a way of attracting more consumers to its digital e-commerce platform, specifically to compete against Amazon, which has been a powerhouse not only in striking content deals (with its biggest competition being Netflix and Apple’s iTunes in the video arena) but has been using its breadth of content as a second magnet on top of very competitive pricing for its Kindle Fire tablets.
It also comes at a time when Barnes & Noble’s bricks-and-mortar business is being challenged: on January 28 it said that it would shutter nearly one-third of its retail stores, bringing its total number of locations from 689 to between 450 and 500 over the next ten years.
On the content owners’ side, it also underscores how content companies are casting their nets wider to bring in more tablet users beyond those on the iPad and the Kindle Fire, the two most-popular tablets in the U.S. market.
“NOOK is one of a growing spectrum of new digital buyers for our film and TV content and illustrates the breadth and depth of opportunities for monetizing our content across a broad array of platforms,” said Thomas Hughes, Lionsgate SVP Digital/On Demand, in a statement.
The deal will mean that Nook owners will now be able to bet blockbusters like The Hunger Games, the Twilight movies, Tyler Perry’s Madea Gets a Job, Skyfall, Rocky, Fargo, Flight, Paranormal Activity 4, Act of Valor, Safe Haven, House at the End of the Street; as well as TV shows like Mad Men, Border Wars, Great Migrations, Amazing Planet. Little Pim, meanwhile, offers educational content in the form of foreign language learning for children.
“With the addition of these industry-leading studio partners, NOOK Video continues to expand its already robust offering, providing customers with an even wider selection of their favorite movies and TV shows,” said Jonathan Shar, VP and GM, Emerging Digital Content, NOOK Media LLC, in a statement.