Sony Moves Cautiously Towards Video On Demand Same Day Releases

Posted Thu Sep 24, 2009 at 12:30 PM PDT by Mike Attebery

In what Sony VP of strategic development Jason Spivak referred to as a test of the market, Sony will be releasing four films on both physical media and through Video On Demand simultaneously.

Slated to hit sometime this winter, Spivak didn’t mention specifics as to what movies would be a part of this trial, but he did touch upon why Sony in particular has been slow to adapt this idea. Movies that get rented could be movies that aren’t being purchased.

Sony’s VP of digital distribution, Sean Carey, agrees with this sentiment. “We’re very concerned about rental transactions cannibalizing ownership transactions,” he states.

The window between retail and VOD has been shortening over the last several years, with some companies more eager to make the jump than others. Warner is the forerunner, and has released most of its films on VOD day and date with DVD releases. The sales are with them, as they hold three of the top five spots in VOD sales over the last six months.

Lionsgate on the other hand, hasn’t had a single day and date release, though they’ve shortened their window significantly. President of digital at Lionshead, Curt Marvis is confident that the trend will only continue in the future, predicting “Ultimately, everyone knows all the studios will adopt a day and date position over time.”

Source: Video Business

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Tags: Industry Trends, VOD, High-Def Retailing (all tags)