Sony and Disney Trial Home Streaming While Movies Are in the Cinema

By Jamie Condliffe on at

In the ongoing battle against piracy, Disney and Sony have made a bold step: they're both testing an on-demand service (in, um, South Korea) which allows people to rent movies and stream them in their own homes while they're still playing in the cinema.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Sony and Disney are the first of the US studios to ever offer viewers with the option to either buy a ticket for the cinema or just watch it in their own home using cable or internet. So far Django Unchained, Wreck-it Ralph, and Brave have all been offered up under the scheme.

While it's the first time that streaming and cinema options have been available from the off, the exclusive 90-day play window has been broken before in the past. In May, Upstream Color went hit iTunes and Amazon Instant Video in the US after a month in the theaters, and there have been a handful of European trails along similar lines.

Whether the trial will prove successful remains to be seen, of course — but if it is, it might not be too long before the other major Hollywood studios try something similar. If that happens, it might be time for cinemas to start worrying. [WSJ]

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