Content Providers Take Baby Steps, Release Digital Versions Before DVDs

Maximum PC Staff

Suppliers of video content--movie makers and television production studios--are still struggling to devise an economic model for the Internet age. As time goes by some content providers are become less reticent about embracing the possibilities the Internet offers, in particular video on demand (VOD). In a possibly positive sign a few content providers have taken the step of providing films or TV shows in digital form prior to their DVD release.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Showtime is selling episodes of the hit series Weeds online, while the DVD release remains weeks away. Sony Pictures is also in the act, making available its animated movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs , available for “owners of some Sony TVs and other devices”, with the DVD release scheduled for January 5.

Jacqui Cheng, at Ars Technica , would like to see more aggressive action, like AMC does with Mad Men, releasing episodes closer to the actual airing date. But, given the trepidation with which content providers appear to hold any Internet involvement, these baby steps toward better access are an encouraging sign.

Image Credit: Showtime

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