For the first time in the history of the format, a major studio has released a film to VOD before the DVD release date. A few days before they dropped on DVD, Warner Home Video premiered Observe and Report and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past in the Atlanta area on Comcast VOD.
Warner is trying to walk a fine line here. VOD brings in a larger share of rental revenue than DVDs do, and the studio is trying to help the format gain traction without impacting already ailing DVD sales.
In the Atlanta test, the studio promoted the releases to customers, by saying, “Watch on video-on-demand now and buy it Tuesday” on disc, WHV spokesman Jim Noonan said.
Warner has been releasing movies simultaneously on DVD and VOD for two years, but it is the first studio to offer the consumer a “try before you buy” option between the two formats.
While still playing it safe, it appears at least one studio is interested in exploring expanded distribution options and time frames. Is this a blip, RedHeads, or an indicator of things to come?
[via Video Business]