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WB doing downloads

Warner pacts with Free Record Shop on online pix

Europe continues to be the hot market for movies online as Warner Bros. has became the second studio to sign a deal selling permanent downloads of its films on the continent.

Studio has pacted with Dutch company Free Record Shop to sell pics online day-and-date with their DVD release, starting next Thursday with nearly 100 pics, including “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.”

Movies will be available in the Netherlands and Dutch-speaking parts of Belgium for e9.99-e14.99 ($12-$18). WB will add more new and library pics to the service going forward.

Last week, Universal signed a deal with Blighty DVD-by-mail company Lovefilm to sell permanent digital downloads along with DVDs for one price (Daily Variety, March 24).

WB previously announced a deal to sell movies online in Germany via a P2P service run by Bertelsmann subsid Arvato, but that service launches later in April.

Studio’s Dutch offering debuts April 4, making it the first to sell movie files via the Web.

Previously, studio pics have been available online only for rental in the video-on-demand window. Permanent downloads are gaining momentum, however, and are expected to launch in the U.S. soon.