“Hardware-Content-Bundling” in the Movie Business

June 14, 2008

We have been talking about it for a while in the music industry… e.g. “Nokia’s Comes With Music” . Now the movie industry sees this option as well.

Howard Stringer, Sony’s chief executive, mentioned the idea in an interview with The New York Times. Sony has an agreement with cable companies to essentially build cable set-top boxes into its televisions.

“Technically, we can send a movie to that,” Mr. Stringer said. So why not package a TV set with a batch of Sony video content — including, say, a look at Sony Pictures’ Will Smith vehicle “Hancock” before its DVD release?

Mr. Stringer said there would be issues to work out before something like this could happen, since it would disrupt the standard progression of movies from theaters to other outlets like cable. But he indicated that the company was considering new ways to combine its hardware with its content to bolster its profit margins in markets that are becoming commoditized.

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