Paramount has announced that it will release 10 new apps for Windows Phone 7, each one will be a so-called "enhanced app" for a particular feature film. These apps will be built on Microsoft's Silverlight technology ad will include the full feature length film. The forst apps out of the gate will be School of Rock, Zoolander, Waiting for Superman, and GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra. More movie apps will be launched in the near future.
Other than the film, users will get the ability play Scene It trivia for the movie, create clips, and identify actors or props while the movie is playing. The apps themselves will follow the Windows Phone 7 design guidelines with the expansive scrolling columns and sharp text.
There are still some unknowns. First and foremost it price. Paramount has not announced how much they will be charging for these apps. Second, we don't know if the content in this app will be usable on any other devices, or with a larger screen. The apps appear to only be for playback on the phone, but could perhaps be expanded to other platforms in the future. If the apps are too expensive and rigid, we can't see this being a sustainable method of content distribution.
Paramount has taken the opposite stance to that of their fellow Hollywood studios regarding DVD rental service Redbox. Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox have all extracted a deal from Redbox that sees them making movies available only after a 28 day waiting period. This is intended to drive sales of the newly released discs. In reality, it most likely just drives consumers mad. Paramount has agreed to allow Redbox to rent movies the day they are made available for sale.
The rental landscape is changing rapidly with services like Netflix and Redbox. Redbox offers rentals for $1 per night. Paramount seems to be taking note of the boost Redbox is offering. " There hasn't been a cannibalization of DVD sales from Redbox, and Redbox was allowing us to expand our business and ultimately make more money," said Paramount Home Entertainment president Dennis Maguire.
Netflix has gotten the same treatment from Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox, but it may be different with Paramount. When they work out their next arrangement, Maguire said they will go in with similar intentions. Do you frequent a local Redbox? Would a release window make you more likely to purchase a movie?
In what's being described as an "industry first," Seagate has partnered with Paramount to preload a selection of 500GB FreeAgent Go ultra-portable hard drives with Paramount movies.
“Seagate and Paramount Pictures are delivering major motion pictures to consumers in a unique and innovative solution. For years Seagate hard drives have been powering the devices that allow consumers to enjoy their digital libraries. Today, we are simplifying content delivery by giving consumers the ultimate flexibility in how they enjoy their movies all in a convenient package,” said Dave Mosley, executive vice president, Sales, Marketing and Product Line Management, Seagate.
Consumers who pick up a specially marked FreeAgent Go package will be able to activate Star Trek (2009) for free. These FreeAgent drives will also come preloaded with 20 other movies that can be unlocked through the online purchase of a license key. Some of the bigger name titles include Beowulf, GI Joe, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.
Paramount Digital Entertainment bought DVD games developer Screenlife. The move will allow Paramount to strengthen the reach of it cinematic offerings. Screenlife has to its credit the well known “Scene It?” game brand. Screenlife will continue to operate autonomously even after this deal. Thomas Lesinski, Paramount Digital Entertainment’s president, said that the acquisition will advance the company’s multiplatform strategy. Paramount didn’t elaborate upon the financial details of the transaction.