Will Premium VOD be a New Window for Movie Studios?

In today’s New York Times, Brooke Barnes writes about the possibility of movie studios adding a new “window,” or a new run, to the existing tiers of home video sales. The new window, called Premium VOD, would begin as little as 45 days after the theatrical run would start and would be facilitated by video service providers (i.e., your cable or satellite company). The move is done to combat slumping DVD/Blu-Ray sales and Internet piracy.

The main opponents to Premium VOD include the movie theaters, which depend on the content, and the retailers of DVDs. Both fear that customers would opt to watch movies at home for a price that is lower than either theatrical exhibition or video disc sales.

Students should consider this in the context of the old run-zone-clearance system that emerged nearly 100 years ago and was pioneered by studios such as Paramount. Also, consider the digital revolution in media and how this marks another transformation in the film industry.