Target Corp. is testing a Netflix-like movie streaming service with its own employees.
Called Target Ticket beta (find it at www.targetticket.com/home/beta), the service claims to offer “instant access to 15,000 titles, new releases, classic movies and next-day TV.” The site requires a Target employee login to use.
The Target website says users can either stream or download movies (streaming video is not stored on a computer’s hard drive, and thus can be watched instantly instead of after a lengthy download.)
Target on Thursday acknowledged it was testing the video service with its employees, but provided no details.
Target is late to a market that’s dominated by Netflix, but its test comes at a time when video streaming is rapidly becoming a challenger to broadcast and cable TV.
Streaming video now accounts for more than 68 percent of the data traffic from the Internet to users during peak Internet use periods, according to an online trends report issued earlier this week by Canadian computer networking firm Sandvine Inc. That’s up from 65 percent six months ago, Sandvine said.
Netflix, which received a publicity boost from its “House of Cards” series starring Kevin Spacey, continues to be the unchallenged leader, accounting for just under one-third of all video streaming traffic during peak periods, Sandvine said. YouTube is a distant second with 17.1 percent, followed by Hulu with 2.4 percent, Sandvine said.
Target is not the first retailer to try streaming video. Wal-Mart entered the market in 2010 by acquiring the Vudu video streaming service, which today, Wal-Mart says, offers “thousands of movies instantly.”