Overstock plans to launch video streaming

January 20, 2015 07:43 PM Inc. plans to roll out a video streaming service and may even develop its own content.

In moving into video streaming, Overstock joins a field already crowded with more established competitors such as Hulu, Inc., and Netflix Inc.

The decision to launch a streaming service was made with a specific eye on taking a chunk out of Amazon’s market share, Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne said today during a press conference. Overstock’s plans come less than a week after Inc. took home its first Golden Globe Award.

The retailer decided to launch video streaming after it examined where its customers were spending money online on other sites, he said. “We really think the whole digital convergence is true and that it’s still possible to get in front of that wave,” Byrne said.

The still unnamed service will be tied directly to Overstock’s Club O loyalty program, which costs customers $20 per year and gives shoppers access to perks such as free shipping and discounts on items. Byrne says he expects to launch the service around the middle of this year. Overstock is No. 31 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide; Amazon is No. 1.

“A lot of people don’t think of us for media but we’ve actually sold hundreds of millions, closer to a billion dollars of media over our history,” he says. “What we’ve realized is that we could leverage all that we have already. We’re just trying to figure out what our customers are looking for next.”

Byrne said he had not yet determined the streaming service’s cost, but noted that one of the big selling points of Overstock’s offering will be its price.

“We think we can price this at the bottom end of our competition and be giving people cash back, which is part of the Club O deal,” he says. Amazon’s streaming service is part of its $99 Prime program; both Netflix and Hulu Plus offer streaming services that start at $7.99 per month.

Byrne says Overstock already has a relationship with an third party vendor that has rights to thousands of titles. When Overstock launches its video streaming service, it will have around 30,000 titles. Overstock has had discussions about producing its own original content at some point, he adds.




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