Sony, Disney Give Asia What it Wants
I should very excited about this story, but I'm not. We'll get to the why not in just a moment:
In a bid to limit movie piracy in Asia, Disney and Sony have quietly begun testing a bold new on-demand service in South Korea which offers movies to rent while they are still playing in theaters. As noted by the Wall Street Journal, the two companies are the first US studios to provide consumers anywhere with the option to buy a ticket to see a movie or watch it in their own home using their cable, internet, or satellite-TV subscription. Django Unchained, Wreck-it Ralph, and Brave had all been made available as part of the trial.
These are 2012 movies here in the States, but I'm assuming based on the story they're in current release overseas.
But why make this a piracy-fighting move? Why not just ...I dunno... give audiences what they want? Increasingly, that's to watch movies in the comfort of our own homes, with a picture quality better than many movie theaters of just ten or 15 years ago.
I'm still counting on Hollywood to screw this one up, however.
Do you know why Blu-Ray has failed to take the place of DVD in lining Hollywood's pockets? Because Blu-Ray sucks. The picture quality is outstanding. And the sound is an audiophile's dream. But the discs are so locked down that they're a total pain in the bottom to actually use. Loaded with FBI warnings we can't skip, menus that can take forever to load, and years-old previews you're forced to watch again and again. And -- oh, yeah -- most of the movies are crap.
So we rent from Red Box or stream from Netflix or download from iTunes. Or we just pirate the stuff.
Because as nice as it sounds to be able to stream a current summer blockbuster release like Melting Flying Zombies vs The Buxom Flamethrower Pirates, I'm pretty sure Hollywood would fill it up with all the same, lame stuff they cram onto shiny new Blu-Ray discs.