CinemaNow Offers 'Tokyo Drift' For Download Same Day As DVD Release - InformationWeek

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CinemaNow Offers 'Tokyo Drift' For Download Same Day As DVD Release

Fans of The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift will be able to watch the downloaded movie on their PCs or burn it to DVD.

CinemaNow has signed a deal with Universal Pictures to sell "The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift" for download and burning to a DVD the same day the picture is released to retailers.

While the agreement only applies to the one move, it's a first step toward offering new movies online the same day their released on DVDs. Studios are moving cautiously into the download market to avoid undercutting offline retailers, such as Wal-Mart, which have built a big business around DVDs.

CinemaNow, which launched its burn-to-DVD service in July, started offering "Tokyo Drift" on Tuesday for $10, including menus and bonus features found in store-bought DVDs. The movie is the third in Universal's "The Fast and the Furious" franchise, which has earned more than $62 million domestically.

"Partnering with CinemaNow not only ensures secure online distribution for our content but also underscores Universal's continuing push to leverage emerging technologies as new avenues of entertainment content delivery," Craig Kornblau, president of Universal Studios Home Entertainment, said in a statement.

CinemaNow's burn-to-DVD service is at the beginning stages, with only about 100 titles in its library. The company, however, has beaten rivals Movielink and Apple Computer in offering a burn-to-DVD service. Movielink has announced plans to offer such a service. Apple, on the other hand, offer movies from Disney studios on iTunes the same day they ship to retailers, but only for download and playback on a computer screen, a TV connected to the computer, or Apple's iPod portable media player.

Analysts believe movie download services won't take off until the films can be easily played on a TV.

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