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IGN turns games site into film and TV portal

'Download to own'

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We went to press just too early last week to pick up yet another film download front that News Corp has opened, this time with its Fox owned IGN Entertainment, the gaming portal that reaches around 30 million people a month.

The films come from Direct2Drive, IGN's online store, which has signed deals with 20th Century Fox (which it owns), Lionsgate Films, Starz Media, and its anime company Manga Entertainment; as well as Central Park Media.

This allows Direct2Drive to introduce movies, TV shows and anime on a download-to-own basis. The service already sells video games and the web interface has been redesigned to cope with a broader variety of content. Film prices are between $7.99 and $19.95 and a composite stream of trailers emanates from the video side of the site automatically.

TV series can be bought for $1.99 for a single show, up to $39.95 for an entire season of Bones, Prison Break and The Shield. Anime is $9.95 to $19.95. Direct2Drive has been selling games for two years.

Back at the end of September, Fox said that it would put its own fall schedule of TV hit series onto all of its various websites, free to view, supported by advertisements, including MySpace.

But it now seems to have decided that IGN will be its paid portal, while MySpace and the other Fox sites are its free to air portal with advertising. Fox attracted Toyota, Burger King and Lionsgate as sponsors to the MySpace shows and put up much the same entertainment in Bones, Prison Break, Standoff, Vanished, 'Til Death, and The Loop.

The new video content can be transferred to Windows Mediacompatible portable devices, and the movies, TV shows, and anime titles are available in DVD-quality 2.5 mbps encoding.

Copyright © 2006, Faultline

Faultline is published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. This weekly newsletter is an assessment of the impact of the week's events in the world of digital media. Faultline is where media meets technology. Subscription details here.

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