‘Target Ticket’ Targets October 1 LaunchUPDATED: Retailer Confirms Its OTT Video Rental/Purchase Service Might Debut Even Sooner 9/16/2013 10:21 AM Eastern
Target Ticket, a broadband-distributed movie and TV sales and rental service that will compete against Walmart's Vudu, Apple iTunes and pay-TV video-on-demand offerings, will exit the beta phase and launch commercially in two weeks or less, the company confirmed.
“We expect to be ready to offer the service to guests by October 1. However, if we are able to go live a little early we will do so, knowing how excited our guests will be to experience Target Ticket,” a Target spokeswoman said via email late last week. “We’re excited about the launch of Target Ticket at it will offer guests even more ways to enjoy our vast assortment of movies, television and exclusive content. It’s the next evolution in Target’s ongoing commitment to offering our guests compelling and convenient entertainment offerings.”
Variety reported last week that Target Ticket was shooting for that launch timeframe, telling the publication that it will start off with about 30,000 TV and movie titles thanks to deals with major studios, including Disney, Paramount, Sony Pictures, and Lionsgate, as well as CBS, the CW, Fox, HBO, NBC, Showtime and Starz, among others.
Update: Programming from Viacom's stable of channels, including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, and Vh1, will also be featured on Target Ticket, a Viacom spokeswoman confirmed.
That’s about double the number of titles supported by the beta version, which has been limited to Target “team members” and holders of Target's REDcard debit and credit cards. Target Ticket is expected to sell movies for about $14.99 and rent them for $3.99 to $4.99, and sell individual TV shows for $2.99 and full seasons for about $34.99. Variety said a standard-def season of HBO hit Game of Thrones” will fetch $28.99, while the HD version will go for $36.99.
Like Vudu, Target Ticket’s platform will be compatible with UltraViolet, a studio-backed digital locker that gives consumers the ability to redeem the online version of select DVDs and Blu-ray TV shows and movies purchased at retail.
The beta app currently supports iOS and Android devices, as well as PCs and Macs, noting that the service offers instant access to new and classic movies and to TV shows the day after their debut. Variety said Target will also offer the service on Xbox consoles, Roku boxes, Samsung connected TVs early on.
Target Ticket has not announced how many people are testing the service, but the Google Play app page notes that the Android version has been downloaded between 5,000 and 10,000 times, and has received an average rating of 3.2 stars (out of five) based on 34 reviews.