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DIRECTV to Launch $30 VOD

Discussion in 'More News from Your Google TV News Team' started by Rickaren, Apr 19, 2011.

  1. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    DIRECTV to Launch $30 VOD Thursday
    By Swanni


    Washington, D.C. (April 19, 2011) -- DIRECTV on Thursday will launch a VOD service that will charge $29.95 per viewing of movies made available 60 days after their theatrical release. The first film will be the Adam Sandler comedy, Just Go With It, which was released in theaters on February 11.

    In a few weeks, DIRECTV plans to also offer the Ed Helms comedy, Cedar Rapids, the Owen Wilson comedy, Hall Pass, and the Matt Damon thriller, The Adjustment Bureau.

    The 'Premium VOD' concept has been floated for months as studios explore ways to generate new revenue to counter declining sales of DVDs. But the idea is controversial because of its cost -- and because movie theater owners say it could hurt their attendance if people know they can watch a movie at home just 60 days after its theatrical release. Normally, studios wait at least three months before offering theatrical films to home video.

    DIRECTV spokesman Robert Mercer told The Wrap today that his company does not believe the high cost will scare away viewers. "We certainly understand our customers and know what their viewing habits are and buying habits are. The studios have done a considerable amount of research and we believe there is a lot of value in getting this premium service early," Mercer told the web site.

    Comcast and Vudu, the Walmart-owned VOD service, may also offer the $30 per viewing service this month in select markets.



    No way for $30!
     
  2. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    DIRECTV Questions $30 VOD Plan; Surprised?
    By Swanni

    Washington, D.C. (April 21, 2011) -- DIRECTV today is scheduled to launch a VOD service that will charge $29.95 per viewing of movies made available 60 days after their theatrical release.

    And the satcaster is already questioning whether it will work.

    Derek Chang, a DIRECTV executive vice president, said yesterday that the satcaster may lower the $30 price -- and offer movies sooner than 60 days after their theatrical release if buy rates are low.
    “We’re testing a price point and testing a window in the early days of this product, and we’ll see how it takes,” Chang, DIRECTV's's chief of content strategy and development, told Bloomberg News. "Down the road, if the window gets tweaked and changed, I think we all cross that bridge when we get to it.”

    DIRECTV is scheduled to launch the 'Premium VOD' service today with the Adam Sandler comedy, Just Go With it, which was released in theaters on Feb. 11. The 'Premium VOD' concept has been floated for months as studios explore ways to generate new revenue to counter declining sales of DVDs. But the idea is controversial because of its price -- and because movie theater owners say it could hurt their attendance if people know they can watch a movie at home just 60 days after its theatrical release. Normally, studios wait at least three months before offering theatrical films to home video.

    However, rather than seek to appease theater owners, Chang's comments will likely heighten concerns that the studios and their TV provider partners are ultimately aiming to bypass the theater.

    Chang told Bloomberg that theater owners are overreacting because films rarely perform well in theaters 60 days after their initial release. However, even if that's true, if DIRECTV decides to show films 30-45 days after the initial release, theater owners would have more reason to worry, particularly if DIRECTV lowered the $30 price.

    [​IMG]
    Swanni Sez:
    Commentary:

    Okay, I said it last week. The studios' initial plan for 'Premium VOD' is just a teaser, purposely designed to generate a low buy rate to diminish concerns that it will hurt movie theater attendance. Seriously, $30 to watch a movie at home? Who is going to do that? No one -- and the studios and DIRECTV know it.

    Chang's comments reveal that's there a more realistic plan in place behind the scenes. The studios eventually want to release box office hits on VOD on the same day they are available in the theater. They have calculated that, in the long run, this will generate more revenue than the current distribution model.

    But to get to that point, they will have to work the program in slowly, to downplay media coverage of theater owner protests. Over the course of time, it won't seem like a big deal that a new film is released to VOD 30 days after its theatrical release. And then a bit later, it won't seem like a big deal when it's released on the same day of the theatrical debut.

    And it won't seem like a big deal when the price of the VOD offering is just a bit higher than the theater price.
     
  3. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    DIRECTV's $30 VOD: What the Media Isn't Telling You
    By Swanni

    Washington, D.C. (April 24, 2011) -- DIRECTV last Thursday kicked off its 'Home Premiere' VOD service that charges $29.95 per viewing of movies made available 60 days after their theatrical release.

    The launch has generated extensive media coverage, with most stories emphasizing predictions from theater owners and Hollywood directors that the service could ultimately destroy the movie theater.

    But what the media isn't telling you in these stories -- in fact, no newspaper or web site has reported this fact until now -- is that DIRECTV's 'Home Premiere' is available to only about six percent of the satcaster's audience. That's right, six percent.

    DIRECTV has decided to only offer the Home Premiere films -- the first one is Adam Sandler's Just Go For It -- on its DIRECTV Cinema VOD service, which requires an HD DVR connected to a Broadband Internet network to order.

    (Home Premiere is not available on DIRECTV's PPV lineup, which can be accessed by the satcaster's entire 19 million subscriber base.)

    And by DIRECTV's own admission, only
    about six percent of DIRECTV's 19 million subscribers have HD DVRs connected to a Broadband network. This means that only about 1.1 million DIRECTV subscribers are set up to order Home Premiere.

    DIRECTV's decision to limit Home Premiere films to such a small audience is telling. So are the satcaster's remarks last week that it
    may lower the $30 price and offer movies sooner than 60 days after their theatrical release if buy rates are low.
    “We’re testing a price point and testing a window in the early days of this product, and we’ll see how it takes,” Derek Chang, DIRECTV's's chief of content strategy and development, told Bloomberg News. "Down the road, if the window gets tweaked and changed, I think we all cross that bridge when we get to it.”

    It's almost as if DIRECTV and the studios are purposely setting up Home Premiere to fail in the early days.

    Why would it do this?

    To have an excuse to lower the $30 price and offer movies sooner than 60 days after their theatrical release, just as DIRECTV suggests it might want to do.




    The 'Home Premiere' concept has been floated for months as studios explore ways to generate new revenue to counter declining sales of DVDs. They desperately want this to work, but they realize that they will have to win the public relations battle against the theater owners who say it could hurt their attendance if people know they can watch a movie at home just 60 days after its theatrical release. Normally, studios wait at least three months before offering theatrical films to home video.

    In 3-6 months or so, if DIRECTV is able to reveal that its buy rates for Home Premiere are extremely low -- and it should have no trouble doing that with only six percent of its subscriber base able to order -- it will be easier to sell the concept of a $20 VOD movie shown 30 days after the theatrical release. Or, perhaps, a $20 VOD movie shown the same day as the theatrical release.

    The media seems extremely interested in covering DIRECTV's Home Premiere service. But it needs to look more closely at how the service is being implemented before publishing future articles.
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    I'm part of that 6% and will not purchase any $30.00 films!
     
  4. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    Will DIRECTV Challenge Netflix, Too?
    By Swanni

    Washington, D.C. (April 27, 2011) -- With Dish Network's purchase of video rental business Blockbuster, many analysts have assumed that the nation's second largest satcaster will challenge Netflix's dominance in the video streaming category. But it appears that the nation's top satcaster may be eying the same prize.

    DIRECTV has sent an e-mail survey to some subscribers asking if they would be interested in an "online" service that would offer past seasons of current and past TV shows as well as movie releases. In other words, what Netflix offers via its streaming video service.

    The survey also asks subscribers how much streaming programming they watch and why they do so.
    "I was just sent a survey from DirecTv that asked me about my NetFlix usage. The survey stated that DirecTv is planning on launching a NetFlix type of service for potentially $6/month. It appears to be streaming only (no discs)." one DIRECTV subscriber who received the survey told TVPredictions.com yesterday.

    Companies send surveys to subscribers all the time with no serious intent of following up on what's described in the survey. But DIRECTV has hinted in the past that it could be a Netflix rival and the satcaster has focused in recent months on strengthening its Video on Demand library.
     
  5. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    News
    DIRECTV Not Ready to Drop $30 VOD
    By Swanni

    Washington, D.C. (July 8, 2011) -- DIRECTV and the Hollywood studios are not ready to pull the plug on their controversial $30 VOD service - at least not yet, reports Variety Magazine.

    In April, DIRECTV launched the service which charges $30 per viewing of movies made available 60 days after their theatrical release and at least one month before their DVD or Blu-ray launch. However, TVPredictions.com has reported that the satcaster appears to be losing interest in the plan called, Home Premiere, once even dropping it entirely from its VOD Home Page.

    DIRECTV returned the Home Premiere movies to its VOD Home Page this week, but the satcaster is only offering one film at $30 -- Water for Elephants, starring Reese Witherspoon. While Home Premiere is now listed as an option on the VOD Home Page, Water for Elephants is not mentioned at all. You have to click on the Home Premiere button to find out which movies are available at $30.

    Variety notes today that some industry officials have buzzed that DIRECTV and the studios may be getting ready to drop the $30 VOD service, which some have said is unlikely to succeed because of its steep price.

    But the publication adds that the participating studios have a four film commitment to the service and DIRECTV will likely keep the service going until that commitment is fulfilled. Once it is, both DIRECTV and the studios will assess the service's potential and decide on their partnership.

    Variety writes that some studios may not fulfill their four film commitment until September. If so, it would seem to ensure that the Home Premiere service will last at least until then.
     
  6. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    DirecTV Admits Almost No One Wants To Pay $30 To Watch A Movie At Home

    Sep 26th, 2011

    Back in April, when DirecTV officially announced its plan to let people see movies for $30 at home, we were not alone in suggesting the price was ridiculously high, and were somewhat shocked to see theaters complaining that they'd never be able to compete. Looks like our thoughts on the price turned out to be exactly right. As a few people have sent in, DirecTV has admitted that there's been very little uptake of the $30 movies, and flat out admits that the price is too high:
    The service is part of an attempt by studios to harness pay-TV as they seek new ways to sell movies and counter shrinking DVD sales. Few customers will purchase the premium rentals unless the quality of the movies improves and the price comes down, White said in an interview.

    “They’re priced too high for consumers,” White said. “We didn’t choose that price, but that’s where the studios forced us to be.”
    Of course, the studios forced that price because they're petrified of pissing off the theater owners (who were already pissed off), because the big studios still think that the "movie business" is defined solely and completely by how well a film does in the theaters on its opening weekend. The theater owners, at the same time, don't want to have to compete and actually improve the quality of their service -- so they whine and complain any time the studios do anything to make accessing content outside of the theaters any easier.

    The end result, then, is just a big question of why anyone bothered at all with this plan. It made no sense for anyone involved. If you're going to offer video on demand to consumers, offer them a reasonable product at a reasonable price or don't bother.



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