Samsung Electronics has discovered that making great screens and delivering great on-screen entertainment require different skills.
The South Korean electronics giant has turned over its movie business to its partner, M-Go, a pay-as-you-go streaming service created in a joint venture of DreamWorks Animation and Technicolor.
M-Go will assume the accounts of several million customers who purchased movies and TV shows through Samsung’s Video and Media hub. Samsung notified customers that, starting today, they will no longer be able to buy or rent videos through its store.
Samsung could not immediately be reached for comment.
The company has been gradually pulling away from direct media sales.
In May, Samsung notified customers that Amazon’s Kindle app would replace Samsung Hub Books. It similarly announced plans to shut down Samsung Music and offer two alternatives — Milk Music, a free (and commercial-free) Internet radio service powered by Slacker, and a three-month trial of Google Play Music, an on-demand subscription service that costs $10 a month.
Samsung has been under pressure from Google to stop creating applications that compete with Android apps like Google Play.
M-Go and Samsung are partnering on a planned video streaming service to deliver movies and TV shows in the new Ultra High Definition format, which offers four times the resolution of high-definition video. It’s expected to debut later this year.
M-Go CEO John Batter said he negotiated with all of Hollywood’s major studios to allow the content that consumers bought through Samsung’s Media Hub to be added to their M-Go library at no additional charge.
Absent that agreement, all the movies consumers had purchased through Samsung’s Media Hub would have disappeared — the kind of black eye for digital purchases that studio executives hoped to avoid.
“The studios all saw the benefit of doing this, and they saw the downside of not doing it,” Batter said.
Consumers will be given the choice of transferring their movie and TV purchases to M-Go’s service. Once they agree, the digital content that they bought through Samsung will appear in their M-Go media collection. These new customers also will receive a $5 credit toward future purchases on the service and 50 percent off two movie rentals.