This isn't your parents' pay per view. According to The Hollywood Reporter, a group of Hollywood studios are coming together with an idea to disrupt the movie industry by offering at-home viewers the chance to see a movie just a month or 45 days after it debuts in theaters.
Comcast, Amazon, and Apple are working together on the new concept, which would cost $30 per movie. THR is calling it "premium video-on-demand" (PVOD) to shed any negative associations with "pay per view," but the concept is basically the same – except viewers could watch anytime and not wait for a specific timeframe like a boxing match or WWE extravaganza.
Previously, the studios played with the idea of offering a movie to consumers for $50 after just 17 days, but they seem to have settled on the correct pricing structure and time frame to satisfy execs, theater owners, and supposed consumers alike.
Due to antitrust laws, at least three studios have to be involved. And since Disney already announced that it would be launching its own streaming service, it's not even participating in these negotiations. The next step is for the individual studios to agree to the pricing and timing so that consumers aren't overwhelmed by choice. Cable providers will have to agree to the stipulations as well, since they would be the ones that viewers actually deal with when they want to put on a movie.
"It's a very risky proposition to do this without some kind of agreement with theaters," Wall Street analyst Eric Handler of MKM Partners told THR. "It could be mutually assured destruction."
If it sounds complicated, it is: According to THR's industry insiders, satisfying so many different parties is a monumental task. Theaters do not want to lose business to PVOD, the studios want to cut down on piracy, and the proposed timeframe is making many people nervous.
It my be a long shot, but if everything goes as planned, the three major companies involved want to get things rolling before the holidays, so Pitch Perfect 3 and The Greatest Showman could be among the first flicks to appear on PVOD.
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