Sears and Kmart launch streaming video service this Christmas

Joseph L. Flatley
J. Flatley|06.23.10

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Sears and Kmart launch streaming video service this Christmas
As physical media sales continue to drop it looks like the smart money is in streaming content. Now Sears (and Kmart, which it owns) is getting in the game with the Alphaline Entertainment service. Powered by Sonic's RoxioNow (which is the same architecture that as Best Buy and Wal-Mart's services), Alphaline will be available on TVs and Blu-ray players manufactured by Sharp, LG, Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, and RCA. Setup of your device is included in the sale price, which is pretty great on the off chance you are less able to setup consumer electronics than your typical Kmart employee. Keep an eye out for the service this holiday season. PR after the break.

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TradeTheTrend - June 22, 2010 - Sears Holdings Corp. (NASDAQ:SHLD) and Kmart will carry a new digital video service called Alphaline Entertainment beginning this holiday season, for televisions and Blu-ray players made by Sony Corp. (NYSE:SNE), Panasonic Corp. (NYSE:PC), LG, Samsung, Sharp and RCA.

Alphaline Entertainment is comparable to the video service already offered by Best Buy Co. (NYSE:BBY) and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT), which allows customers to set up the service in-store and take it home to view movies right away.

The soon-to-be offered service by Sears and Kmart will use Sonic Solutions' (NASDAQ:SNIC) RoxioNow technology platform to stream nearly 5,000 new releases already available from the service.

"Moving from Blockbuster and Best Buy to Sears/Kmart shows that those retailers who reach a broad base of consumers are really wanting to embrace digital services," said Sonic Solutions' head of strategy Mark Ely.

Sonic Solutions' streaming media library is available through Blockbuster Inc. (NYSE:BBI) online, Best Buy, and Sears and Kmart later this year; Wal-Mart opted to purchase streaming-video service Vudu instead of partnering with Sonic Solutions.

Sonic officials say that retailers are new to the idea of web-connected services, and due to consumer trends and surge in web-based media sales, are now pushing it forward.

"We see the DVD business declining over the next couple [of] years," said Sears and Kmart's vice president of home electronics Elliot Becker. "We wanted to offer a service on all of the devices we sell, not just TVs, but Blu-ray (players), tablets, all the devices we're in or going to get into."

Shares of Sears are trading up 0.36% early Tuesday at $74.92, whereas shares of Sonic Solutions are down 0.83% at $8.39.
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