Six Questions: Anne Stanchfield — Divisional Merchandise Manager of Entertainment, Target27 Dec, 2013 By: Stephanie Prange
After much anticipation and expansion in the digital space by competitors Walmart, with its Vudu service, and Best Buy, with its CinemaNow offering, Target Sept. 25 announced the nationwide launch of Target Ticket, its new digital video service.
The digital store includes UltraViolet functionality for select movie purchases. UltraViolet is the industry-backed initiative that enables users to access digital copies of content from a cloud-based storage system.
Minneapolis-based Target partnered with Common Sense Media, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization best known for its reviews of movies and television shows. Through the partnership, Target Ticket gives users access to thousands of reviews and other information about content on the site.
Home Media Magazine queried Anne Stanchfield, divisional merchandise manager of entertainment with Target, about the mass merchant’s move into the digital marketplace.
■ How many movie and TV titles does the service currently boast for rent and for purchase and on which devices is Target Ticket available?
Stanchfield: Target Ticket expands upon our in-store offerings with even more content that includes more than 30,000 movie titles and television episodes. The service offers our guests an affordable line-up that includes Target-exclusive content, HBO shows and specials, new releases, family favorites, next-day TV and more.
Target Ticket is available on a PC and Mac, as well as Android, iPhone, Roku, Xbox 360 and popular brand-name smart TVs. We’re working to make additional devices compatible with Target Ticket by the end of 2014. Guests can visit TargetTicket.com to easily access the service or download the Target Ticket app through the App Store or Google Play.
■ What is the pricing structure for rental and buying?
Stanchfield: It’s our promise to offer value to our guests by providing easy and convenient access to their favorite movies and television shows at great prices. There’s no subscription fee for Target Ticket. Viewers can simply pay to rent or purchase movies that range in price from $2.99 to $36.99 or rent TV shows that range in price from 99 cents to $2.99 for TV episodes.
And for Redcard holders, the savings continue with 5% off their rental or purchase of their favorite movies and TV shows. We’re also excited to offer 10 free movies to download on select titles for each new guest who creates a Target Ticket account through early February 2014.
■ What is Target Ticket’s involvement with the industry initiative UltraViolet and do you plan to offer disc-to-digital capability (i.e. will consumers be able to bring their disc libraries in to load them into the cloud)?
Stanchfield: We want our guests to be able to watch their movies through Target Ticket regardless of whether it was a physical or digital purchase. When you purchase select Blu-ray discs or DVDs at Target, it comes with an UltraViolet and/or digital code for ownership of the movie or select television shows through Target Ticket.
You can either wirelessly download the movie to your smartphone, computer, tablet, or smart TV, or you can stream it to your device. Other UltraViolet movies that you’ve previously purchased can be viewed on Target Ticket, making it convenient to watch all of your movies in one place.
We’re always appreciative of our guests’ feedback and look for ways we can incorporate their valuable comments. We are supportive of the [disc-to-digital] idea, and our goal is to find a solution that will meet and exceed guests’ expectations and set Target up for long-term success. With Target Ticket, we’ll update and make changes to the current service based on their response and continue to evolve the experience to meet their needs. For example, by the end of 2014, our goal is to have Target Ticket accessible on every device with an Internet connection.
■ How does Target Ticket tie in with the in-store experience?
Stanchfield: We know that many of our guests shop Target’s entertainment offerings both on Target.com and in-store, and we strive to offer them a great experience, no matter how they choose to shop. We also know that our guests look to us for exclusive entertainment content. The Target Ticket service just expands upon that in-store experience to meet our guests’ needs anytime and anywhere — whether it be wirelessly downloading their previously purchased Blu-ray discs or DVDs with an UltraViolet or digital code for ownership or enjoying even more content digitally from our entertainment partners.
■ What bonuses will consumers find on Target Ticket (i.e. exclusives)?
Stanchfield: Target works closely with studios to offer new and exclusive DVDs in-store and at Target.com, so it’s only natural for Target Ticket to carry those same great offerings. Guests can enjoy bonus content, including extra scenes, behind-the-scenes footage and special cuts. Currently, Target carries exclusive editions of The Wolverine, Man of Steel, Monsters University and Despicable Me 2 that are also available on Target Ticket.
■ How important are the reviews and filtering components (via Common Sense Media) on the service?
Stanchfield: We’re committed to offering a family friendly digital entertainment experience because we know how important family is to our guests. Common Sense Media is a trustworthy source on kids and families, and by partnering with them, we’re able to provide tailored parental controls and detailed reviews unlike any other service available.
Target Ticket offers multiple adjustments to manage profiles from setting filters according to age, level of violence and profanity to identifying where violence or profanity appear in the film or television show. Children can only view content in Target Ticket that parents have deemed appropriate — all other content will be filtered out.