Would you pay a $30 premium to watch a film at home while it’s still in theaters? Some of the major movie studios are hoping so, and are currently working on ways to implement screenings.
In Demand CEO Bob Benya revealed in an interview that his company, in a partnership with some of the major US cable companies, has been talking with the studios about where and how to screen such films in order to help recoup revenue lost to declining DVD sales.
Sony, Warner, and Disney are all said to be currently devising plans for streaming early releases of films into consumers’ homes for a premium fee.
Disney is planning a test run of one film in the first quarter of 2011. The company has reportedly been working with Microsoft and Sony to discuss the possibility of also streaming the movie over the web via Xbox Live and PSN. There is no word yet on what the exact pricing will be, but it is expected that the fee will run viewers between $20 and $30.
No decisions have been made yet regarding how long after a film’s theater release date studios would wait before making films available for home screening. There is likely a great deal of debate over timing in order to maximize revenues for both theaters and In Demand. Regardless of the time-frame, there’s no doubt that this will upset Theater owners.
I don’t know that I would pay even $20 to watch a movie in my home before the DVD release. Though the price would be comparable to purchasing tickets at a cinema for two people, I would think that not having to provide the facilities and equipment to view the movie should bring the price quite a bit lower than that. Of course the more people you have present to watch the movie the more cost effective it would be, but it would seem that the point of watching the film at home would be to avoid being around a lot of people. I simply cannot see consumers paying that much for an on-demand movie, no matter how early it is released.