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More Day and Date Movie Release Experiments December 18, 2006

Posted by David Card in Media.
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In a NY Times story on a Comcast day-and-date trial of VOD for new movies, a Warners exec says it’s all about pricing and release window experiments:

    The experiment, which will run on Comcast systems in Pittsburgh and Denver, would let customers pay $4 to see a movie the same day they could buy it at a neighborhood store for about $25, or rent it for about the same price as the on-demand service….“This is a sampling mechanism for the title,” said Andrew Mellett, vice president for the video-on-demand division of Warner Digital Distribution, which is offering “Superman Returns” and other movies via Comcast. “I don’t expect it to cannibalize sales on DVD. What we are really interested in seeing is whether this increases the buy rates.”

Cool. I’m eager to see the results. Preliminary JupiterResearch survey results suggest that, among online adults who actually see new movies, the theater is still the preferred medium for 64% of them, at least compared with relatively high pricing for rental, VOD, or DVD purchase. We suggested prices of $10-12 for VOD or DVD rental, and $30 for DVD purchase. Experiments like these are important now, even if actual revenues will be scarce and consumer behavior changes slow.

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