Disney to sell movies over Internet via CinemaNow in Windows Media Video format

“Walt Disney is planning to start selling movies over the Internet via CinemaNow, and this will include new film downloads – on the very day of release. Buena Vista Home Entertainment, Disney’s Home Video arm, is to make the films available, on a download-to-own basis,” TechTree reports. “This facility will allow downloaders the ability to purchase films, both new and old, for viewing on personal computers and portable devices. And, movies will be made available over the Internet the same day they would be available on DVDs. Customers will be able to move the films to other PCs or portable devices that support CinemaNow’s copyright-protection technology.”

“Starting June 6 this year with the DVD release of basketball drama ‘Glory Road,’ Disney will begin offering both new movies and older catalog titles like ‘The Insider’ via CinemaNow. Eisen explained that prices would be similar to DVDs, or about $20 per new title, and $10 for some of the older films. The movies that will be in Windows Media Video format, can be transferred to up to three more devices including laptop PCs and handheld electronic devices,” TechTree reports. “According to reports, Disney’s pact with CinemaNow is non-exclusive, meaning Disney can make similar deals with other online services in the future.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Jose” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: One has to wonder how Disney’s Board of Directors member and largest shareholder, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, feels about this Windows-only idea using a Microsoft format that excludes Mac and iPod users. Most likely, Jobs has a lot more cooking right now behind-the-scenes with Disney than this little CinemaNow venture.

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Related articles:
Mac users need not apply: Movielink launches Windows-only download service for major motion pictures – April 03, 2006
Disney completes Pixar acquisition; Steve Jobs now Disney’s single largest shareholder – May 05, 2006


  1. As long as they announce a similar solution via iTunes shortly, I’m not bothered. I’m not one of those people who think it should be all iTunes all the time, but I do think it’s stupid to exclude it entirely.

  2. “devices that support CinemaNow’s copyright-protection technology”

    Is that the same DRM in other Windows-based downloads? If not, everyone will have to buy a new portable player. Wouldn’t that be good for a laugh.

  3. Remembering that Apple did not open the market for mp3 portable music, but rather learned from the openers and then flawlessly executed a focused strategy, I am very comfortable watching these trial balloons.

  4. who cares
    for 20 bucks i’d rather just go and buy the dvd
    movies and songs are in different leagues

    people buy songs online to fill their “mobility” devices, not to build on-demand libraries

    buying crappy quality movies online just makes little sense
    here an on-demand subsription service really makes most sense

    this is prob a hold-over from Eisner stupidity

  5. The conflict of interest rules governing public companies prevent Steve Jobs from making decisions for Disney as a director based on what is good for Apple or himself. The only consideration he must take into account is what is good for Disney shareholders. Don’t expect that everything Disney does will be favorable to Apple.

  6. $20!!!!
    man listen, I go on ebay 4 months l8r, and buy the same movie for like $8 with shipping. Paying outrageous prices for movies that aren’t exactly part of the Criterion Collection, is totally absurd.

    MDN magic word ‘seemed’ – to the greedy studios it seemed like a fair price

  7. MacDaddy – It would be in the financial interest of Disney shareholders to feature their content on the one downloadable music and video service with the overwhelmingly large market share, if that service inded started offering movies.

  8. Hello all.

    Maclover, I think you have a strong point. I am happy to pay a couple of bucks for a good quality and portable video of something I liked on tv (ie iTunes movies, etc) but If I am buying a $20 DVD movie, I want a hard copy. I might want to put a mini version on my laptop for a trip or something but to ONLY have it on my laptop?????

    And what happens when my 40 gig laptop is full of movies that I cant move elsewhere????? Do I throw away those $20 movies or just buy a new laptop???

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  9. Eisen explained that prices would be similar to DVDs, or about $20 per new title, and $10 for some of the older films.

    I smell limited success. Why pay the same amount as for a DVD, and end up with a product that is limited to 3 copies (although that won’t be that big of a deal) and takes up HD storage space?

    Wait until 90 days after release and you can buy the DVD from Hastings for $7.50 (used of course).

  10. Geez. Disney really knows how to screw things up. WMV format is crappy as hell. Quicktime is a billion times better.

    Now, Apple is no better here. They are getting stale more and more every day. Apple better get their act together and start getting actual movies in iTunes.

    Cmon Steve Job-o. Kick some butt and wake up your employees. They are starting to fall asleep at the wheel.

  11. So now we see what the studios want. They want us to buy the DVD AND buy a downloadable version. No thanks. I’ll just buy a DVD and rip it with Handbrake myself into a DRM-free version.

    Greedy bastards

  12. Why does everyone keep insisting that Jobs is going to run Disney. Him being on the board will not change how Disney operates. Does Al Gore influence Apple just because he is on Apple’s board?

    Jobs is a board member and largest shareholder and nothing else. Like we say back in Brooklyn, “Stop Sweatin’ Him”.

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