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Target Shuts Down Digital Video Service

Target’s efforts to compete in the digital-video space against Apple iTunes, Amazon.com, Walmart’s Vudu and others have come to a screeching halt after less than two years.

The No. 2 retail chain in the U.S. said in a notice on its website that Target Ticket — launched in the fall of 2013 — will be shut down effective March 7, 2015.

The service has offered thousands of TV shows and movies for rent or purchase, including most recently Disney’s “Big Hero 6,” Fox Searchlight’s “Birdman” and episodes of AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and FX’s “Sons of Anarchy.”

“Target has made the decision to end the services offered on Target Ticket and will be focusing efforts on other entertainment offerings,” the company said in the notice.

For movie purchases, Target said it teamed with CinemaNow — which electronics retailer Best Buy sold to Reliance Majestic Holdings last year — to provide access to customers’ titles beginning March 7. In 2013, entertainment technology firm Rovi sold its money-losing white-label video e-commerce business (which powers CinemaNow and has been the back-end for Target Ticket) to Beverly Hills-based Reliance Majestic, which is backed by private-equity firm Proveho Capital.

Target Ticket users will be able to rent movies through Tuesday, after which rental functionality will be shut off, the company said.

News of the shutdown of Target Ticket was reported earlier by GigaOm.com.

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