The push for a premium video-on-demand service is moving fast enough that an introduction of one in the first two months of 2018 is being targeted according to THR.
The trade says Comcast, Apple and Amazon are actively developing the delivery system for PVOD titles (which includes anti-piracy measures) with a number of platforms, including other major cable providers and digital players, to ultimately be a part.
The initial plan is looking to be a $30 rental on films 30-45 days after their opening in cinemas. The goal is to have one price point, so as to avoid consumer confusion. However, those aforementioned companies must strike deals with individual studios as antitrust laws prevent the studios from discussing terms among themselves.
For the service to happen, at least three studios would need to be involved. The studios seem willing to go ahead and try Premium VOD even if exhibitors don’t go with the plan – those that don’t want to worry about theatre boycotts which won’t happen if many of the studios are involved.
Something has to change though with exhibition stocks plummeting and the box-office for this Summer down 13% on last year to date. If the premium service does launch on time, then year-end films will be amongst the first offerings.