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Best Buy Testing Digital Content Store



By : Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 11 Jan 2010


While the only competition to the Apple iTunes Store might be its sister App Store, that could change should Best Buy proceed further with tests of a proprietary digital content store.

Beyond the 3D brouhaha at last week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, connected devices such as Blu-ray Disc players, flat panel high-definition televisions, media players and mobile phones underscored CE manufacturers’ stated goal to link Hollywood to the consumer and home via the Internet.

The iTunes Store currently dominates as the preferred destination for online music, movie and TV downloads.

Minneapolis-based Best Buy, the No. 1 domestic CE retailer, is testing digital store concepts at select brick-and-mortar locations in an effort to educate and gauge consumer reaction, said spokesperson Susan Busch-Nehring.

“The tests are in place to bring more experiential vignettes into our stores so customers can experience the digitally connected world,” Busch-Nehring said.

She declined to elaborate or indicate when regional testing would expand across North American Best Buy stores or the Internet.

Ralph Schackart, media analyst with William Blair & Co. in Chicago, said he expects a Best Buy digital content store to launch this year.

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