Sony and Disney have become the first companies in the world to provide a streaming of their films that are still in theaters. Both Sony and Disney hope to discourage online piracy in Asia by providing this option. The two companies have quietly begun to test this initiative in South Korea. Django Unchained, Wreck-It Ralph, and Brave have all been released as part of this early testing period.
This is not the first time Disney has experimented with manipulating the theater release window. The House that Mickey Built once tried to reduce Time Burton’s Alice and Wonderland from 17 weeks in the theater to 12 weeks in order to rush the DVD launch, and it experimented with early on-demand before in Portugal with the movie Tangled.
It will be interesting to see if Sony and Disney’s gambles pay off. Should their early online renting experiments decrease piracy, we may well see such a service extend to Europe and North America.
Who knows? One day, we may even reach the point of same day digital releases.
[Via The Verge]