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Report: Best Buy to offer movie downloads

Big-box retailer is planning an online video store to launch sometime this summer, according to Variety. It'll reportedly do this through a partnership with CinemaNow.

Online video service CinemaNow and Best Buy are planning to launch a movie download service this summer, according to a published report.

Variety, a film industry trade magazine, quoted unnamed sources in its report about how Best Buy is talking to CinemaNow, as well as other Web movie services, about offering film downloads.

The magazine noted that Best Buy is advertising job openings for digital-movie executive positions on such sites as PaidContent.org.

Why Best Buy would partner with CinemaNow is still unclear. The service was eclipsed by much more influential services, such as those of Apple's iTunes and Amazon.com, long ago. Variety reported that Best Buy had previous plans to open an online video store, but those apparently fell through. Representatives from Best Buy were not immediately available for comment. Spokesman for CinemaNow declined to comment.

The news comes as a swarm of services attempt to deliver films via the Web. Some, including Hulu and YouTube, offer films to the public free of charge and support their offerings through the sale of advertising. Netflix charges a subscription fee for users to view films, while Apple's iTunes charges for digital downloads.