Movie Studios Want to Charge $30 to Stream New Movies
Surprising no one, movie studios have decided to come up with a new way to charge for watching movies. This time, it concerns the growing popularity of streaming movies online. Studios want to charge up to $30 for the privilege.
A Bloomberg report reveals that Sony Pictures, Warner Bros. and Disney are all considering a new service that would stream films to consumers well before they are available on DVD or on demand services. While many people would love to see a movie before it comes out on DVD, this service would only allow them to see the film once for that price, whereas if they waited a few months they could own the movie for about the same price.
Disney has specific plans to stream through the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and wants to do a trial run with a single film early next year. Warner Bros. will do the same test later this year, and Sony Pictures has already tried it with "Hancock" and "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs." Both films streamed for $25, with limited success.
The service is clearly an effort to stop the drop in movie ticket and DVD sales due to online piracy. The logic would say that people who wanted the movie but didn't want to wait for the DVD would have another option besides piracy. The flaw in the logic, of course, is the price tag, which is not close enough to $1.99 to make modern media consumers take notice. Sorry, I can download how many TV episodes from iTunes for that price?
Theater owners are worried this service would eat into their sales, but it's not even cheap enough to provide a good alternative to climbing theater ticket prices, unless you have a large family. If a single viewing of a movie at home on a smaller screen isn't even cheaper than a movie ticket, the choice should be pretty obvious.
Sure, the snacks are cheaper at home, but better the sticky soda stains be on the floor of a theater I don't have to clean than on the carpet I'll have to replace.