Look Out, Netflix and iTunes!

Target Launching Digital Service with Parental Controls

Fueled by an uptick in its financial status, retail giant Target is launching its own digital movie, TV, video service on Oct. 1, to compete with services at companies such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, Walmart, and Best Buy.

The good news is that Target is offering something those other services don’t yet have – parental controls.

Anne Stanchfield, Target’s divisional merchandise manager of entertainment, said the parental controls idea is based on customer surveys showing that consumers want a digital service provider that’s more “family friendly” than other companies in the market.

Consumers also want a digital service provider that’s simpler to use.

To lure customers, Target Ticket will also try to give customers access to early electronic sell-through content. Stanchfield said Target’s market research showed customers want “the newest content available.”

So, the company will offer customers titles not available on subscription video-on-demand-services, including day-after-broadcast TV episodes and movies before they become available on DVD or Blu-ray.

Target Ticket already has deals with the six major Hollywood studios and the biggest independent studio, Lionsgate, plus the biggest TV networks and cable outlets, including HBO, Showtime, Starz, FX, and the USA Network.

Target Ticket customers will get 10 free movie downloads when they sign up.

“We applaud Target’s decision to give consumers parental controls so they can choose the good and reject the bad,” Movieguide® Publisher and Founder Dr. Ted Baehr said.

“I’m not surprised Target’s consumer surveys showed that people want a more family-friendly digital service provide,” he added. “For 21 years, Movieguide®’s own research has shown that family-friendly movies with more wholesome, more morally uplifting, more conservative, and stronger Christian, faith-friendly content earn the most money at the box office and on home video.”

Each year, Movieguide® does a comprehensive financial analysis of the entertainment industry and reports the results at its annual Faith & Values Awards Gala in early February.

Year in and year out, the report shows that the most family-friendly, wholesome, morally uplifting, conservative, patriotic, and Christian-friendly G, PG, and PG-13 movies earn the most money on average, by a wide margin.

Recent TV ratings have shown the same thing occurring on television, with the patriotic, pro-military, relatively family-friendly NCIS becoming the top-rated show on television, and with Cable-TV programs like THE BIBLE and DUCK DYNASTY blowing away their competition.

The next Movieguide® Awards Gala and Report to the Entertainment Industry, the 22nd Annual, takes place Feb. 7, 2014 at the Universal Hilton ballroom in Los Angeles.

Author of “The Culture-Wise Family” and “How To Succeed in Hollywood (Without Losing Your Soul),” Dr. Baehr is chairman of the Christian Film & Television Commission® (CFTVC) ministry and director of its family guide to movies and entertainment, Movieguide® (www.movieguide.org). CFTVC and Movieguide® are an international non-profit ministry, advocacy group, and watchdog dedicated to “redeeming the values of the entertainment industry by influencing industry executives and by informing and equipping the public about the influence of the entertainment media.”

Source:  Variety, 09/10/13.


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