Toys ‘R Us is the latest retailer to begin offering streaming and downloading video for sale.
The move takes advantage of the relationship the company has with major film and television studios, and may also be a sign of just how serious it is about the kids’ tablet business.
With the launch of the service, Toys ‘R Us Movies, the retailer will not only be selling its own tablet for kids, the Tabeo, but it also will play a role in providing content for the device, and others like it.
Toys ‘R Us worked with Rovi to set up the service, which will provide access to more than 4,000 movies and TV shows for kids. It will also contain parental controls that will help Mom and Dad manage screen time.
Movies — which will sometimes be available the same day they are released on DVD — will start at $2.99 for a 24-hour rental, and at $5.99 for a licensed digital download or stream. Television shows could cost as little as 99 cents each, but most will cost about $1.99, the company said. Those shows will be available the day after they air.
Once it launches, the service will allow users to stream content on PCs, Macs and Adobe Flash-enabled devices. Within the coming months, the service will expand to include Blu-ray players, TVs, tablets and more. By late fall, there will be dedicated Apple iOS and Google Android apps.
Among other retailers battling it out in the digital wars areBarnes & Noble, which recently introduced its own high-definition tablets as well as a video-streaming service. The book giant is fighting to keep pace with rivals such as Amazon.com , Apple and Google .
-By Christina Cheddar Berk, CNBC.com News Editor
(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Toys 'R Us was working with Rovio on this venture. The retailer is actually working with Rovi.)