Online rental to replace DVD cashcow?

[LEFT]Slowly we are seeing a transition from DVD to the Internet and VoD rentals. For years DVDs were Hollywood’s main source of revenue and now we’re seeing that more and more people wouldn’t mind seeing movies without the use of a disc. With Wal-Mart and other retailers not being enthusiastic about this trend we see every studio has a slightly different strategy.

After Warner Bros changed its strategy and a test with two cable operators showed there was nothing to be afraid of, we see other studios changing their strategy. Twentieth Century Fox announced that they consider to release certain movies on the Internet on the same day as its DVD release. Besides Warner and Twentieth Century Fox we see that Disney and Universal Studios are also looking for new ideas and release schedules.

The latter are both planning to shorten the period between the DVD release and its web/cable release. Last year this gap went from 45 to 15 days at Disney, and from 45 to 29 days at Universal, but now we can expect this to decrease even more.

Of course all the above strategies have a low level of innovation, but current news shows we can expect more in the future. Some studios want to release movies for rental viewing at home before releasing the movie on DVD. This would be great, but still needs a grant from the Federal Communications Commition (FCC) to protect this content with the help of satellite and cable companies.

“As we’ve reached maturation in the DVD business, we’ve got to find ways to grow,” said Ron Sanders, president of Warner Home Video, to the LA Times.

Sanders’ words show that the FCC’s grant is needed to find these new ways. It would be nice if we could come up with a date, but for now it’s all pure guessing.


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Not likely when people get their Internet bill for the bandwidth it will take. Most of the BroadBand providers are looking at ways to charge by the byte.