For Movie Studios, a New Scheme

11/12/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Jonathan Wu

Once again, the Internet has brought a big company to its knees and forced them to reevaluate their marketing strategy. Sony recently announced that they will distribute their new animation hit, "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs," through Internet-enabled televisions and Blu-ray players before they release it on DVD.

With online services such as Netflix and iTunes providing audiences with easy online streams and digital purchases, DVD sales, following the CDs' lead, have been steadily dropping since the beginning of 2009.

This decline in sales have made various big-time studios such as MGM, Viacom and Lionsgate almost wet their pants. Their response? If you can't beat them, join them. This past October, these three mega studios launched Epix, an ad-free online HD streaming network that works on your TV, computer, and mobile phone. The Web site is eventually supposed to provide 15,000 films for its audience, but only films that are associated with the three studios will be available.

Though Sony is also joining the bandwagon and trying to market their films with a new Internet-based approach, they believe DVD retailers and renters will have little opposition to this since the film will cost $24.95, high enough to not completely drive DVD stores out of business.

Sony's chief executive, Howard Stringer, stated, "We don't need a war with Wal-Mart or any other organization, and I don't think they're hostile to this... It will make television more valuable, and that's a good thing."

Fun Fact: Sony Pictures Entertainment is the only Hollywood studio connected to a major hardware manufacturer.  Do you know which one?


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