Hollywood has been very slow in cottoning on to the fact that how people consume media is changing rapidly. Thus making the same mistake the music industry has made for the past decade. But in the same way as record labels are starting to come round to the change, so are the movie studios.
The DivX format has been with us for many years but has all but ignored and rejected by Hollywood. Until now. This week has seen four major Hollywood movie studios sign up to offer their movies in the format through the little-known (until now) movie retailer, Film Fresh.
Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., Paramount, and Lionsgate have all agreed to have both old and new titles sold through Film Fresh.
This signals a complete change of pace for Film Fresh, which has up to now mainly focused on independent titles. Probably not through choice though, more forced due to the majors being resistant selling their product via this method.
The titles from the four major studios, which immediately include Iron Man, Watchmen, and 17 Again, will be sold through Film Fresh in the DivX format for between $10 and $16.
These are full downloads rather than rentals, so once purchased the film is yours for keeps. Movie bundle deals are very likely to follow, and a rental service is being planned for the future.
The big difference between Film Fresh and its competitors such as Amazon Unbox and Apple iTunes is the DivX format itself. Although DivX requires a download, it’s a format which has already been widely adopted by electronics manufacturers.
This means there are many DivX-enabled devices on the market, including DVD players, TVs, and games consoles. Should you not have DivX installed on your computer then it’s a simple download away.
DivX encoding also means a smaller file size with no loss of quality. Even better, a movie downloaded in the DivX format can be burned on to a DVD or transferred to a USB stick and moved on to a DivX-enabled device such as the PS3.
This is a major coup for Film Fresh, but more than that it signals the intentions of Hollywood movie studios to embrace the evolution which is taking place with digital media.
Have they finally realized that by resisting to kowtow to what consumers now want was only leading to more and more piracy taking place? Let’s hope so. Movie piracy will never vanish completely but by giving people a cheap and accessible option it can certainly be reduced.
[Via The L.A. Times]
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