Disney Teams With CinemaNow for Downloadable Films

Posted on June 12, 2006

Forbes.com reports that Disney has teamed up with CinemaNow to sell downloadable films online. However, Pixar films are not part of the deal.
Almost two months after most Hollywood studios started selling movies via online download, The Walt Disney Co.'s Buena Vista division has entered into an agreement with online distributor CinemaNow to do the same.

Beginning today, CinemaNow users will be able to choose from 30 Disney titles, including National Treasure, The Pirates of the Caribbean and Chicken Little; the studio will also begin selling online downloads "day and date" with their DVD releases, beginning with the June 6 release of Glory Road. The deal does not include movies from Pixar, the animated movie studio Disney acquired earlier this year.

The agreement is yet another sign that Hollywood studios are willing to tinker with the profitable DVD distribution channel they have relied on since the late 1990s by selling movies directly to consumers. Last month, both Movielink and CinemaNow, which had previously only allowed customers to rent movies via the Internet, began letting customers buy and download permanent copies of the movies to their PCs.
Forbes notes that no Hollywood studio has yet cut a deal with Apple's iTunes for film downloads. iTunes has had several deals for television shows so it is probably just a matter of time before they cut a deal with one of the film studios.