Monday, July 11, 2011

DirecTV's Theatrical Movie VOD Test Not Appealing

Movie houses were in an uproar that their theatrical business was once again being impacted with a shrinking window and a theatrical VOD push. But at a hefty price tag to view a movie at home, consumers seemed to balk. "Initial consumer response has been tepid to an experiment by four studios that signed up with DirecTV to offer movie rentals at home for $30 as little as 60 days after theatrical release, executives from three of those studios acknowledged privately because they were not authorized to speak on the record." Will this test continue, probably. Other price points will be tested and theatrical windows pushed again.

Mostly, I think the issue is timing. Given the bad economy, $30 can be a lot to spend. And when folks need to get away from their troubles, they can spend a little less and get to watch these same films in a better theater experience. And since these titles being tested are available almost everywhere, it is just as easy to travel than watch at home. For smaller, independent titles, that are in limited release, the idea of a theatrical VOD film being made available is much more desirable. When films are only seen in major cities, the rest of the country can only wait. For those kinds of titles, theatrical VOD makes much more sense today.