Sony And Disney Attack Piracy By Streaming Films Still On Cinema Release
In an interesting move to attempt to cut piracy in Asia, the US movie studio giants Disney and Sony have decided to stream three films whilst still airing them in theatres. The trial only effects three films – “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Django Unchained,” or “Brave” and the pilot is running solely in South Korea.
Movie buffs are given the option of paying for a ticket or simply stream the film via cable, internet or satellite feeds direct to their front rooms.
A similar approach was in fact trialled once before by Disney in Portugal back in 2011. The film “Tangled” was made available to on-demand viewers just six weeks after it’s theatre release, rather than the standard seventeen weeks wait. Since then the approach has not been revisited but this move shows that the big players are still very much considering it as an option.
Whether or not their plans are global or just regional remains to be seen.
South Korea was chosen as the test case for a number of reasons: it is the world’s eighth largest film market currently, so the trial size is well worthwhile, but more importantly it avoids the inevitable friction that the US studios would put on the process.
The major US studio’s unwillingness to change is a problem that Sony and Disney have come up against before; UK and US markets are simply not as comfortable with shifting methods as other regions. Despite US studio’s profits slowly degrading, they still accrued a chunky £10.8 billion in domestic revenue last year.
If profits do continue to dwindle however, they may have to reassess their positions. For now the other big four Hollywood movie theatre chains will no doubt be watching with baited breath to learn the outcome of this intriguing Asian pilot.