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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Now playing on CinemaTech: `Groundhog Day'

This new offering from Grouper, ScreenBites, is a giant leap for media companies on the Web. (Grouper is part of Sony Pictures Entertainment -- acquired by them in August.)

What's the big deal? Sony is making part of its content library available on Grouper, so that people can link to it, or embed it in their blogs or Web sites (as I've done here.) Every time a clip is played, there's an opportunity to purchase the movie on DVD. Try clicking the menu button above... or waiting until the end of the video to see the purchase option. And Sony's pricing of the DVD is appealing: $9.99, with no shipping.

Eventually, Sony or others could (and probably will) sell advertising around this content, or also enable you to buy a digital version of the full-length movie.

Sony is one of the few studios experimenting with making the Net a marketing tool for library content, rather than just complaining about people illegally posting and sharing that content online.

They even plan to eventually let users incorporate Sony clips into their own home-made videos -- which will be another major leap toward the Internet-powered entertainment economy.


  • Sorry, I don't see this as a major breakthrough. First off Sony is behind Grouper now which means root kits, DRM and draconian copy protection measures, secondily though, this whole scheme ignores what is important to bloggers and people who want to share, making content relevant to micro audiences.

    Yeah maybe that clip of Groundhog's day is relevant to you, but if my favorite scene is a different clip I have no way to share it with my readers. This would be much more compelling if I could take ANY 2 minutes of the film and embed it instead of having Sony tell me what the two funniest minutes are.

    Imagine if I was writing about Smith and Wesson and wanted to get a Smith and Wesson quote, would I scour through hoping that Sony has a S&W quote or would I just rip 30 seconds from a Dirty Harry movie?

    Sony doesn't want to give away free online access to the whole film, but they still need to figure out a way to open up the entire movie to being shareable in clip format. This means better search technology or letting people see the whole film online. In theory the idea is good, but in reality it's pretty weak and there is no way that this goes viral, unless Sony can figure out a better way to implement this. If you ask me, I think they just flushed $60+ million down the toliet and they don't even know it yet.

    By Blogger Davis Freeberg, at 11:20 PM  

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