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Nook Video Ups License Deals With Studios, Including UltraViolet Functionality

7 Mar, 2013 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Nook tablet

Transactional VOD and electronic sellthrough agreements attempt to buttress troubled tablet

Barnes & Noble March 7 said its Nook Video unit signed content license deals with major studios and content providers, including Lionsgate, MGM, Paramount Pictures, Relativity Media, National Geographic, Little Pim and Film Buff.

Nook Video lets users rent and own movies (many with UltraViolet functionality) from $4.99 to $14.99, respectively, viewable on the company’s 7-inch and 9-inch HD tablets. The Nook tablet offers access to movies stored in the cloud-based UltraViolet digital locker. UV titles can be purchased electronically or on DVD and Blu-ray Disc.

Movies include 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 and House at the End of the Street, in addition to independent films from Film Buff’s catalog such as Charles Swan and Exit from the Gift Shop.

TV shows include “Mad Men,” “Border Wars,” “Great Migrations” and “Amazing Planet,” as well as educational content from Little Pim, a foreign language learning program for young children.

“Combined with Nook’s UltraViolet integration, we are offering customers one of the most dynamic and accessible movie and TV show stores available,” Jonathan Shar, VP and GM of emerging digital content with Nook Media, said in a statement.

The license agreements come as Barnes & Noble attempts to justify the Nook, which is hemorrhaging money as it competes in the ultra-competitive tablet market that includes the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Amazon Kindle Fire and Microsoft Surface, among others.

The Nook segment, which includes devices, digital content and accessories, generated revenue of $316 million, down 26% as compared with $426 million during the same period a year ago in its most recent fiscal period. Pre-tax loss more than doubled to $190 million compared with $83 million last year.

Meanwhile, digital content sales increased 6.8% in the quarter over the prior year.

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