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Warner Gung Ho on UltraViolet and Pre-Video Releases

Sections: Streaming, Video

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The Hobbit Blu-ray, DVD, and UltraViolet UltraViolet is getting bigger and bigger, with Disney the lone holdout among the major studios (although since the House of the Mouse has shut down its KeyChest program, there’s still reason to think there’s wooing potential on that front).

Warner has apparently had enough success with pre-video releases to the UltraViolet cloud (the latest being The Hobbit, which hits HD download on March 12), and so they’re going to be expanding such releases in the coming year. At about $15 a pop, customers can gain access to their favorite movies anywhere between a week and a month before the Blu-ray comes out.  This option is presumably popular with the traveling businessman set, because after all, it’s hard to take physical discs with you. And, of course, it’s a no-brainer for those who have abandoned discs altogether in favor of streaming and downloads.

I expect studios will continue to try to push the theatrical envelope and encourage streaming and downloads, but will find sooner rather than later that most consumers aren’t going to pay $15 to $30 for VOD or other non-physical media. UltraViolet is at a turning point right now, and whether it evolves to become something more or stagnates as an iTunes alternative remains to be seen. But at the very least, Warner is betting hard on the format.

Via: [HomeMedia Magazine]

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