RealTime IT News

BigStar Shuts Down Online Moviestore

By Ryan Naraine

New York-based BigStar Entertainment on Wednesday announced the shut down its Web-based movie store, just a few months after a complete overhaul of the business model.

BigStar, a former high-flying Silicon Alley dot-com, posted a brief note on its home page announcing the suspension of the Web site. No reasons were given and calls to CEO David Friedensohn were not returned at press time.

The demise of BigStar in many ways mirrors the problems faced by smaller start-ups trying to compete with bigger, more entrenched players in the movie e-commerce and content space.

In an effort to stay alive, the company moved away from selling DVDs and videos and restyled itself as an Internet movie store but that move meant it was going head-to-head against Amazon.com's Internet Movie Database, a battle BigStar just couldn't win.

Last September, the company announced plans to create an interactive digital TV platform with the acquisition of Athlete.com but, at press time, that Web site was offline.

Part of that plan was to use the Athlete TV outfit to develop and produce local and national youth sports programming for digital cable television, digital broadcast television as well as Internet and high-speed wireless devices.

BigStar was delisted from the Nasdaq exchange last year. Before that, it sold off its direct marketing spinoff Advaya to Expression Engines.