Marking a major milestone in the digital distribution of movies, Movielink, the movie download venture owned by the major US studios, has launched the first download-to-own service.
Universal Studios' Academy Award-winning romance Brokeback Mountain today becomes the first major title to be released on Movielink on the same day as its DVD release. Other movies now available for purchase include King Kong, Good Night, and Good Luck, Walk the Line and Memoirs of a Geisha.
Movielink had offered consumers a 24-hour rental window. Following deals signed with MGM, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Twentieth Century Fox, Universal and Warner Bros, consumers can now keep downloaded movies, and view them on up to three PCs, or transfer them to a DVD in Windows Media format for backup. Using a Media Centre Edition PC, consumers can also stream their copy of a movie to a TV set connected to a media centre extender or Xbox.
"As a pioneer in this space, Movielink has consistently delivered an affordable, high quality and easy to use VOD service, so it is only fitting that Movielink is the first to offer this revolutionary expansion of consumer options, including the ability to buy major studio releases online day-and-date with DVDs," said Movielink CEO Jim Ramo.
"We're committed to developing the Movielink service so our customers get the highest viewing value, more technological options, greater convenience, deeper selection of content, and availability of titles in earlier windows."
Only available in the US, the Movielink web site now offers two "stores"—one for rental and one for purchase.
Launched in 2002, Movielink is owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios and Warner Bros.
Ramo added: "The studios are embracing the internet as a viable distribution platform for their movies, and providing this service will also help to convert internet pirates into legitimate customers.
"Movielink has carved out a position in the broadband market as the place to come for high quality long-form entertainment, and we intend to continue to expand consumer options as the internet delivery of movies becomes a significant channel of distribution."
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