CinemaNow’s lasting downloads

Cyberbiz Brief

CinemaNow has become the first major video-on-demand Web site to begin selling permanent downloads of films.

New offering includes a number of independent titles, such as classic surfing docu “Endless Summer” and concert films with Bob Marley and Peter Frampton, but no studio pics.

It’s still a major shift for the online VOD biz, however, as CinemaNow and its major competitor, studio-backed MovieLink, have previously only offered their titles as rentals, with the digital files self-deleting after a certain amount of time.

Move comes as CinemaNow announced at the Consumer Electronic Show its offering will come preinstalled on Microsoft’s expanding line of Windows Media Center devices, including the upcoming Portable Media Center, a handheld unit that plays movies and music.

Microsoft is an investor in CinemaNow, which is majority owned by Lions Gate Films.

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