Zip.ca to launch movie streaming with Samsung
Canadian movie rental company Zip.ca will offer movie rentals streamed over the internet to Samsung TVs and Blu-ray players.
The two companies announced the service Friday in a news release, but did not disclose when it would launch, except to say it would be "soon."
Ottawa-based Zip.ca's service would offer 48-hour rentals of new releases for $5 — the same price as Sony's similar Qriocity service for Sony devices. Downloadable rentals offered by iTunes are priced similarly.
Both standard and high-definition movies will be available. People can also buy movies, with Zip.ca creating a digital locker that will store them "forever." They can then be streamed at any time.
For at least the next year, Zip's streaming service will be available exclusively to people who own Samsung devices, including TVs, Blu-ray players and home entertainment systems.
Zip.ca currently offers Canadian subscriptions to movie rentals by mail as well as individual rentals from kiosks in places such as convenience stores.
CEO Scott Richards said there is no plan to offer subscription streaming services at this time. He claims the library available to mail subscription customers contains 80,000 titles, more than other digital streaming libraries.
"Our focus on the streaming is the newer material and our focus on the mail is the older material," he said.
Zip.ca's streaming service is similar to Sony's Qriocity service, which launched in Canada in February. It streams rented movies exclusively to Sony devices such as the TVs, Blu-ray players and the Sony PlayStation 3. As of Friday, Qriocity had been unavailable for more than two weeks as a result of a cyberattack on Sony's network by thieves who are believed to have stolen users' personal information.
U.S. movie rental giant Netflix, which has a U.S. DVD-by-mail service similar to Zip.ca's, launched its streaming-only service in Canada last fall.
Unlike Zip.ca and Qriocity, Netflix offers subscriptions of unlimited streaming for $7.99 a month and is compatible with many different brands of devices, including Samsung, Sony, Toshiba and Microsoft. According to the company's latest quarterly report in April, Netflix's streaming service now has 800,000 Canadian subscribers.