There’s a lot of talk lately of the digital distribution of movies vs the traditional DVD model. That’s all about to change with movie studios finally providing a way to consume content in a variety of formats. The hit movie from 2011, Rise of the Planet of the Apes was produced by 20th Century Fox on Blu-ray, DVD and as a digital copy all in one package.
The DVD comes with conversion software so the user can transfer the movie to a laptop, tablet or smart phone. The conversion process takes 20-30minutes depending on your hardware and device type. Part of the process is authenticating each playback device, using the digital verification code provided inside the cover.
The movie studio is happy as the rights management is catered for, while providing flexibility for the end user. While the multi-format version of the movie may cost a little more than the regular DVD version, it does allow the movie to be watched pretty much anywhere, so probably worth a few extra dollars.
It’s early days for the ‘plays everywhere’ brand, but is certainly a good direction for movie studios to head. What needs to happen next is to ditch the disc all together and sell digital copies directly from their website. The retail chain in movie distribution is rapidly becoming an unnecessary link (and cost) in the chain. Purchasing movies via the store has a very limited lifespan, probably around the time it take for the NBN to be rolled out. At that point there’ll be no bandwidth or time issues with downloading even at the highest qualities.
Of course another solution to digital distribution of movies is to licence the content through existing movie streaming services. The ultimate goal here is to maximise the number of places consumers can consume the content. It seems Hollywood is finally waking up to the fact that we won’t pay for content three times, but instead happy that we’re buying at all.