Target's 18 month old streaming video service Target Ticket is shutting down after failing to gain any traction against Apple, Amazon, Netflix, and Hulu. Target Ticket was the retailer's effort to slice out a piece of the streaming video market for itself, but instead it became a lesson in just how hard it is to compete in a space where consumers already have options they're heavily invested in.
Target shuts down its streaming video service after only 18 months
In an online FAQ Target said, "Target has made the decision to end the services offered on Target Ticket and will be focusing efforts on other entertainment offerings. Effective March 7th, 2015, Target Ticket will no longer be accessible on your device applications, gaming consoles, tablets, smartphones or on the web."
The handful of people who did buy into Target Ticket, they won't be left without any way to watch the videos they purchased because CinemaNow will take over their accounts.
Target Ticket launched with about 30,000 TV shows and movies for rent and purchase with a filtering system so parents could ensure the content their children saw was family friendly. That clearly wasn't enough of a hook to get viewers to leave Netflix and the iTunes Store.
Netflix, Hulu, Apple's iTunes Store, Amazon, Microsoft, and Google are all fighting for more of the online streaming content market. With demand for streaming content on the rise the big name players are growing their user base, but for smaller players—like Target—that market is hard to break into.
Considering Target's marketshare was so small compared to its competitors, shutting down Target Ticket will amount to little more than a footnote in the history of online streaming services.