Hollywood’s largest studios are for the first time today offering consumers the ability to download and own films from the internet on the same day that they're released on DVD, marking a critical milestone in the industry’s embrace of digital distribution.
The service is being launched by Movielink, an online joint venture formed in 2002 by MGM Studios, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal Studios and Warner Brothers. Movielink has so far been slow to gain momentum because it traditionally received films 30 to 60 days after they were released on DVD, and could only rent them to customers on a temporary basis. Der!
Thanks to an agreement between the founding studios and Fox, you can now both own the movies (on your hard disc - you can't burn them to a DVD yet) and get them at the same time as they come out on DVD. If you go to the site today for around $20 you can buy the likes of "Walk the Line", "King Kong" and tomorrow you can get "Brokebeck Mountain".
This will prove to be a major boost for digital films. And with the opening up of MovieLink expect Hollywood to get much more aggressive about offering their movies on iTunes, Google Video, Yahoo and AOL.
The day has arrived where each and every one of us can start building our digital film library. And the beginning of the real slowdown in DVD sales has just begun.