Target (NYSE: TGT ) unveiled its new Target Ticket digital video service last week. The service tempts viewers with a content library that includes 30,000 movies and television titles. Target Ticket also promises to be a hit with parents. Parental controls and filtering options, made available through its partnership with Common Sense Media, set it apart from rivals in the streaming space. Let's take a closer look at how the discount retailer is targeting your kids with its new on-demand video service.
Target's ticket to the family market
It was only a matter of time until Target dipped its toes in the digital streaming market. After all, rival Wal-Mart launched its Vudu streaming service in 2011, and has since grown the platform to include a library of 74,000 titles.
Target's latest offering is based on the same Rovi Entertainment platform that Wal-Mart uses, as fellow Fool Anders Bylund recently pointed out. Best Buy also uses the Rovi solution to power its CinemaNow service. However, the differentiating factor for Target is its focus on family-friendly content and controls.
Together with Common Sense Media, Target Ticket offers age-appropriate suggestions as well as suggested topics for family discussion after watching a movie. Parents can also set up different profiles within their account. This enables you to set restrictions on certain content, so your kids only watch what you want them to watch.
Target should be able to attract more parents to its streaming service with this strategy. For starters, parents of young children are increasingly turning to content streamed on portable devices for entertaining kids on the go. And because Target Ticket lets users set up different profiles, it has a better chance of getting adults hooked on its video offerings if they already use the service for their children.
Both Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN ) and Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) are using similar tactics to attract more families to their respective video platforms. In June, Amazon Instant Video inked a multiyear deal with Viacom that gives Amazon Prime members exclusive access to hundreds of popular kids shows.
Netflix also made a big bet on kids' programming when it signed a new licensing agreement with Disney. The Netflix-Disney deal doesn't take effect until 2016. However, it's worth the wait because it means content and characters from Disney, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Pixar Animation Studios, Marvel Studios, and Disneynature films will all be available for streaming exclusively on Netflix.
Target Ticket has its own arrangements with studios including Disney, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., Universal, and Lions Gate. It has also locked down deals with various television networks, according to the industry publication Variety. That said, let's not pretend that Target's digital library is real competition for Netflix or Amazon Instant Video.
Netflix and Amazon both develop original content, in addition to devoting billions of dollars annually toward beefing up their respective offerings. In fact, Netflix originals earned 14 Emmy nods this year. Clearly, Netflix and Amazon are playing in a different league than Target. Nevertheless, Target's family-focused strategy is a smart one, particularly as kids' programming becomes increasingly important in the digital content wars.
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