Reported by The Hollywood Reporter, Comcast and Amazon are joining Apple in developing a delivery system for premium VOD titles that would be available for home viewing 30-45 days after debuting in theaters. Hollywood’s goal is to introduce the service in the first two months of 2018.
The service would look to allow consumers to pay $30 to rent a movie only 30 to 45 days after the film has opened in theaters. There have been suggestions of making a movie available for $50 after 17 days, but the plans is for the lower price point as to not upset theater owners.
Insiders say Comcast, Apple and Amazon are actively developing the delivery system for PVOD titles, including figuring out antipiracy measures. A number of platforms, including the other major cable providers and digital players, will ultimately be a part of PVOD as well, since the goal is to saturate the marketplace. Disney the box-office market leader isn’t part of the equation nor is DirecTV at the moment due in part to the pending AT&T/Warner Bros. merger.
The companies must work out deals with individual studios, since antitrust laws prevent the studios from discussing terms among themselves. The goal is to have one price point that everyone cal agree upon. “No one will come out of the gate unless the majority of the industry is involved,” says one studio executive. “There is safety in numbers.”
Exhibitors want the studios to agree to keep the PVOD window the same for five or 10 years, as well as the traditional 90-day window. For years, theater owners have decried early home viewing as the death knell of moviegoing.
Note from Writer: When you think about the idea of paying $30 to rent a film, 30-45 days after it has been in theaters doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Why would anyone pay $30 for a film 30 to 45 days later when they can go to the theater during matinee and pay $6 to $8 to see it. Most theaters offer a discounted day when ticket prices are the matinee price all day long, typically on a Tuesday. Even if you paid full price for a ticket it’s still cheaper then this service would be. I don’t see this service gaining much traction especially with services like MoviePass that let you see a different film everyday for $9.95 a month.