Pricing, timing between 'Premium' and traditional VOD

Summit Entertainment is the latest distributor to experiment with the video-on-demand window, announcing that “Source Code” will be available on VOD and electronic sell through July 8 — some 98 days after its April 1 theatrical release but two weeks before the thriller bows on DVD and Blu-ray.

That window isn’t part of the $30 60-day premium window that Fox, Sony, Universal and Warner Bros. established this spring with DirecTV. But the mini-major, which was not a part of those deals, is still bucking the traditional VOD model, in which on-demand titles are available at the same time as DVD releases for around $5. “Source Code” earned $110 million worldwide.

There are no specifics yet on pricing; it’s up to the cablers, satcasters and e-tailers to set that figure — not studios. However, since the early “Code” release is considered a test, none of the service providers are expected to raise the price much beyond the current $5 figure.

“Source Code” DVDs and Blu-rays are released widely on July 26, Other studios have a 28 day delay before titles are available via Netflix and Redbox.

Summit said it is using the film’s unconventional home entertainment launch to test the demand for viewing a bigger-budgeted film digitally prior to the release of physical discs.

“While we are optimistic about the consumer appetite for this type of home entertainment release pattern, we are only conducting a test in this case and not making an overall policy shift at this time,” said Steve Nickerson, prexy, Summit Home Entertainment. “Once the results are in we will analyze the data and see what the consumer has to say.”

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