Fox to release movie downloads weeks before discs
Prometheus launch playing with fire?
Fox is to offer movie downloads up to three weeks before the films arrive on disc and in video-on-demand services in a bid to boost digital sales.
The studio's scheme will take place in the US, and push product - starting with Ridley Scott's Alien prequel, Prometheus - through the UltraViolet cloud movie service.
Prometheus will be offered to UV users in the States on 18 September - folk waiting for the DVD or Blu-ray won't get it until 11 October, which is when the film will also be made available to video-on-demand services, such as Netflix. The download will cost less too, though by how much will depend on the extent to which retailers discount a given title's discs.
Fox executives told the New York Times that the studio will offer early, lower-priced sales on all of its forthcoming films for an indefinite period to give it time to assess the scheme's impact.
Fox hasn't been part of the UV initiative until now. UV was established by Hollywood studios, including Warner, Paramount, Sony and Universal, to tackle piracy and declining sell-through video sales with a universal download and streaming platform.
UV promises films purchased from one store will sit alongside content bought from another; multiple devices are supported through UV partners' apps and, at the very least, through streaming via the web. Purchases movies can be streamed at will and downloaded whenever required. Multiple DRM technologies are supported. One UV account can be accessed by up to six family members. Buy a UV-tied disc and you also gain the right to stream and download it.
Tesco is one of UV's supporter companies but doesn't appear keen to bring it to the UK yet. Warner and Sony have said, however, that they will be ramping up their UV efforts here later this year.
In the US, digital movie sales remain an order of magnitude smaller that physical disc sales, though the latter are declining - H1 2012 sales were down 3.6 per cent on H1 2011, for example.
I Second that
When will "they" learn that we live in a connected world and people on this side of the pond are tired of being treated like second class citizens? I mean if a film is released that I'm going to buy then why can't I have it at the same time as my American cousins?
Like you say, if there is ANYTHING designed to encourage piracy (I know, it's not right) it's staggered regional release dates, it's not like there is anything delaying them launching worldwide is there?
DRM will be it's downfall. People don't want DRM encumbered content, freedom to move the file around and play on any of their devices (without limitation) is a must.
Actually a genius idea
Given that the high quality pirated versions generally get circulated as the discs get near repo (1-2 weeks before retail availability), this 4 week lead time above physical media could potentially lead more people to buy the legitimate version vs. take the torrent then not buy the disk.
Of course, they have to get the pricing attractive, but none the less this is a solid strategy.
UV is by far and away the least contained approach to DRM usage, its built around how MOST people will actually want to consume/use the media. UV in combination with accelerated release time could be a winner.
Pirates already get the films weeks before the actual release, so this will make zero difference to sales.
Iv got to the point where I cant even be bothered to make any effort to watch films anymore. Last time I went to the cinema there were so many adverts (nearly half a bloody hour of the things before the film started) that by the time the film started I was bored and disinterested. Then, halfway through the film, another 20 mins of adverts.
I will probably never go again, it cost a tenner and compared to watching at home, the experience was utter shite.
Judging by the empty seats (only 4 of us in the entire cinema 2 days after the film opened) a lot of other people felt the same.
As for this, no thanks, Il wait till its on telly or available via torrent. No way im paying for a drm infested file that probably has so many restrictions as to render it pointless, and probably unusable in a few years when they shut off the drm servers.