ADOTAS has learned that Universal Pictures UK and online DVD rental service Lovefilm will be launching the world’s first download-to-own movie service in Britain in April 2006. Films will be available on Lovefilm and AOL Web sites, and consumers will be able to download two copies of the film: one to save to their PC’s and a copy to view on portable devices. Consumers will also receive a DVD copy of the film via mail. These downloads will be available the same date that the film is released on DVD.
“King Kong” will be the first movie that can be downloaded using the new service, and this departure from downloading movies only for rental marks the beginning of faster purchasing power for film buffs. Initially 35 Universal films will be available, but eventually all 6,500 movies in the Universal catalogue may be available for downloading.
The service is targeted at 12-18-year-olds who are particularly interested in viewing films on lap tops or other portable devices, and consumers will not be able to email their downloads to anyone else.