Sears Launches Video Download Service

As we reported back in June, Sears would be launching a video download service sometime around the holidays. Well, the holidays are here and so is the service.

Alphaline Entertainment (catchy name… was “GloboVideoCorp Systems” taken?) is a joint venture between Sears and the folks behind Roxio. And, like other similar services started by Walmart and Best Buy, it appears to be aiming for customers in the market for new releases, allowing customers to download movies the same day they hit retail. The pricing for both rentals ($3.99) and purchases ($19.95) appears to be in line with existing services.

Sears hopes to push Alphaline to consumers by selling TVs, BluRay players and other devices with embedded chips to make using the service easier.

Sears, Kmart launch Alphaline Entertainment movie download service [Engadget]

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  1. Holybalheadedchrist! says:

    Hmm, seems interesting enough. Guess I can begin waiting a year to see if this is worth buying into.

  2. gnubian says:

    No good for me .. needs internet explorer and windows .. I have linux and firefox

  3. islandgirl says:

    Launched by Sears? I can’t wait to see the Consumerist stories that are going to come rolling in about the super fantastic service in the next few months.

  4. Alvis says:

    One movie download vs. two months of usenet… tough decision.

    • EtherealFlame says:

      hehehe the best video download service there is!

      • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

        .. and the best kept secret on the net, is one of the oldest parts of the net!

        People are so clueless about usenet… and if you ask your ISP if the provide usenet access, they don’t even know what it is.

        • EtherealFlame says:

          I tried to teach my ex-husband how to use it and it was like trying to teach a monkey rocket science. He took one look at my reader, hung his head and handed me a list of what he wanted. It’s really not all that hard to use once you get past the obscene amount of information. His response “Brain hurts, going to bed.” *shrugs*

          • Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

            I understand why he is your “ex”

            • EtherealFlame says:

              Hah! “that” reason is a whole wall of text that I will politely spare the patrons of Consumerist from reading. I don’t mind computer illiteracy at all. I’m no digital guru but lets just say it carried over into every single aspect of our life. I think from now on that will be one of the getting to know you questions I use when making friends. “Do you know what usenet is?” *smirks*

    • Back to waiting, but I did get a cute dragon ear cuff says:

      First rule of Usenet:

      NEVER discuss Usenet

  5. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    The company that sells lawn mowers, wrenches, and bad clothing is getting into the business of renting and selling media? No one I know has ever thought of going to Sears to buy a movie, or any kind of media.

  6. Blueskylaw says:

    “Sears hopes to push Alphaline to consumers by selling TVs, BluRay players and other devices with embedded chips to make using the service easier.”

    And as an added side benefit, the chips will make it easier for Sears to track exactly what you watch, when you watch it and for how long, making this information available to marketers for a nominal fee + separate shipping and handling.

    • ryder02191 says:

      All streaming video services already have this ability, and have since their inception. Why pretend that this is any different just because it’s Sears?

  7. Bativac says:

    Why is Sears diluting their core business with this kind of stuff?

    Also, is somebody really going to pay four bucks to stream some video thru Sears? For some reason I figured the people looking to stream video would either already have a Netflix account or some…other…means of getting the video.

    Sears should work on improving customer service and maybe freshening up their stores to improve the actual shopping experience instead of trying to grab as many (or as few) dollars as they can by entering the area of on-demand movies.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      Why are you questioning Sears’ corporate strategy? Don’t you know big companies like WorldCom, Enron, Adelphia, GM, Bear Stearns, Merrill Lynch, Lehman Brothers, etc. are smarter than you and know what they are doing.

      Ohh wait…

  8. PLATTWORX says:

    There goes Sears Holdings, blowing cash on new ventures like this while their stores remain run down and dated…. a key reason people refuse to shop there and end up at Target, Wal-Mart and Kohl’s. That cash would have been much better spent bringing their stores out of the 70′s. (eye roll)

  9. larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

    Well this certainly seems like a much better idea than cleaning up their stores and having a helpful friendly staff!

  10. Davester says:

    Oh Boy! Something else Sears wants to screw up!

  11. Supes says:

    This is odd….

    Well if it’s ever added to Roku, and they offer new movies Amazon on Demand doesn’t, I’ll give it a shot.

  12. spidra says:

    When I saw the headline for this on Twitter, I thought it was going to be a collection of appliance maintenance and how-to videos, which would totally make sense for Sears. Color me underwhelmed.

  13. Cheap Sniveler: Sponsored by JustAnswer.comâ„¢ says:

    I suppose the videos will be cheap enough, but of course the “shipping” will kill you.

    Or, you could sign up for a ShipVantage® Annual Membership for “ONLY” $79.00

  14. ARP says:

    I guess they’re going market this to the 3% of people that still go to Sears/KMart for all their retail needs. I can’t believe that they still think of themselves as the 500 lb retail gorilla they were in the 60′s.

  15. evilpete says:

    I suspect we will see a lot more web stores offering online video rental since it is something I can easily be outsourced and sold on a commission basis ( like how many software or porn sites operate )

  16. PencilSharp says:

    Incredible. This post has been up for almost three hours, and still no one has made the obvious reference yet. So…

    *ahem*

    “But will Sears’ servers be able to actually sell the rentals, much less find them?!”

    Best part: You’ll have to wait for a previous customer to finish watching Sears’ one digital copy before you can watch it.

  17. Miz_Ivy says:

    $20 for downloading a movie?! No freakin way I’d pay that!

  18. JeremieNX says:

    *sigh* Yet another venture where Sears comes in too late with too little.

    $20 for a download? I can drive to a store, pick up physical media for $5-10, and have it still come out less (factoring fuel/time).

    Why would I want to even give this a try when there is Netflix that can offer unlimited streaming and DVD/Bluray rentals for a flat monthly fee?

  19. gman863 says:

    This is the most exciting home entertainment news since Circuit City tried to shove DIVX down our throats 12 years ago.

    Yawn…

  20. FrugalFreak says:

    Sorry but Sears will never be Amazon. Sears needs better Cust Service and they need to stand behind quality products, fair prices and I see neither. a kenmore starting to have issues in 2nd year is not QUALITY! I never buy Craftsman lawn mowers again.

    • SearsCares says:

      Dear FrugalFreak,

      My name is Scott and I’m with the Sears Social Media Support Team. Please accept my apology for responding so late to your post here; I just now located it. I’m terribly sorry we have let you down and for the frustration you’ve endured with Sears. We’d like to obtain more information as to what has caused you to feel this way. At your convenience please contact my office via email at smsupport@searshc.com so that we can assist with resolving this issue. Please provide us a contact number and we will call you at your convenience. In addition, include your screen name (FrugalFreak) in the email so we can reference to your case.

      Thank you,

      Scott J.
      Social Media Support Team

  21. retailriter says:

    Another lame-brained Sears idea. The decline of Sears is one of the saddest things I’ve ever witnessed in my lifetime. During the last few years, they have been more focused on pushing credit cards, gathering customer’s personal information, and running cheesy “Cash for Gold” things and other stupid ventures, than on properly running and stocking the stores.

    You can be sure the poor, underpaid sales people and managers will bear the brunt of the complete and utter failure of this latest venture as usual, as the customer complaints come rolling in.