Overstock.com Taking On Amazon With VOD, Streaming Services

The online retailer plans to allow customers to purchase movies and TV content over the Internet.

MIAMI BEACH — Overstock.com, which says it is second only to Amazon in retail sales on the Web, plans to launch VOD and streaming services, it was announced Tuesday at NATPE by company CEO Patrick M. Byrne.

The plan is to launch a video-on-demand service by mid-2015 with about 30,000 titles and then start a streaming service with both acquired content and originals.

“We already have the traffic,” said Byrne. “We’re looking for a bigger and bigger share of their wallet.”

Byrne said Overstock gets 25 to 40 million unique visitors a month and will use an analysis of what those people search for to determine what kind of movies and TV shows to make available.

The VOD service will launch by the middle of this year and will be available to those who sign up for Overstock's loyalty program, which costs $20 a year. The company hopes to have the streaming service up by the end of the year, at an undermined additional cost to users.

“We will be a competitor to Amazon,” said Byrne. “We think our loyalty program is better than Amazon's. We give you five to 25 percent back on what you spend. So we pay people back for their digital downloads.”

The VOD and SVOD services will be run by a third party that Byrne said he was not yet ready to identify. He also expects to use outside producers to create original content, although he was not sure when that would happen.