Barnes & Noble released new Nook Video apps for iOS, Android and Roku today, which brings its TV and movie-watching service to other manufacturers’ devices and tablets. This includes the unnamed third-party that will be producing Nook-branded tablets in the future via the licensing deal announced in June.
It’s been a tough year for B&N, which lost its CEO William Lynch last month, and has been in the middle of a series of strategic changes for its business, including the promotion of finance guy and former CFO Michael Huseby to CEO of Nook Media and President of B&N, Inc. He now reports to Exec Chairman Leonard Riggio, head honcho following Lynch’s departure. The company had also previously killed off its Nook desktop apps for Mac and PC and made major changes to its tablet business.
The Nook tablets had been struggling in the shadow of competitors, such as the iPad and Android-based devices, including the Amazon Kindle Fire, prompting the company to exit the business of designing and manufacturing its own color tablets in-house. But B&N is still trying to figure out how to make the Nook brand work, even if that means supporting its services on rival tablets. (Previously, the store was only available on Nook devices.)
With the new mobile applications and Roku apps, Nook Video will now run on mobile, tablet and TVs, including B&N’s still supported Nook Tablet and Nook Color devices, which will receive the new app today. There, it will automatically show up in customers’ lockers, the company says. The apps provide access to “thousands” of titles which can be rented or purchased from the Nook Store. The lineup includes new releases and HD fare, as well as TV shows and classics, and viewing can be stopped and started as users move between their different devices.
Nook Video is also integrated with UltraViolet, the initiative which lets customers view their purchased DVD and Blu-ray titles on mobile devices.
The company had been fairly quiet after the CEO shuffle until yesterday, when it announced it would undercut Amazon by dropping its pricing on Nook Simple Touch GlowLight to $99, a move that hints new Nook e-reader models are on the way for the back-to-school season.