Catch this – soon, there will be a brand spanking new premium movie channel. Viacom, Paramount Pictures, MGM Studios, and Lionsgate have announced a partnership that will launch in 2009. This yet-to-be-named station may put Showtime out of business. As the wonderful website Ars Technica points out, Showtime has contracts with all of these studios, which are about to expire. Doh!
Why do I mention this? Because, naturally, there’s going to be an online arm to this baby and I’m fascinated by the the struggle content providers face to deliver their goods direct to an evolving consumer. Who isn’t?
Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman has said the site would be “oriented toward the consumer.” He did not go in details but did say that there might be fewer restrictions in delivery since the studios actually own the content outright. Is this the new Movielink, which was an abysmal failure? True, it was early days with that site launched and the DRM issues, as well as its PCs only format certainly held it back.
This new venture is a chance for the movie studios to get it right with completely on-demand content, streaming ads and hopefully, international access. We shall see.