Jonathan Handel’s blog alerted me to the pending “day and date” release of the “The Bourne Ultimatum” on both DVD and via Internet delivery on December 18th. As Handel and the LA Times report, this will be the first day and date release of a motion picture on video in both Internet/electronic media and physical media. Usually (if there is such a thing given the pace of things now), electronic delivery of a motion picture streets with the pay-per-view or pay-TV windows.
Simultaneous Internet/Home Video release dates are consistent with current deal terms and those of older vintage that producers and distributors routinely negotiate for home video rights on motion pictures. The difference now is the form of delivery; physical media vs. electronic media. Although the revenue splits on existing deals might get tricky depending on the terms negotiated, the business is already acclimated to evolving home video revenue structures having moved from the traditional royalty formula to revenue sharing. While Handel correctly raises the prospect of brick and mortar retailer resistance, I suspect the issue of greater impact will come from producers, actors, financiers and other profit participants on motion pictures. Once they become aware of the more favorable cost differential between video tape manufacturing costs and broadband delivery they will expect a payment structure that accounts for the savings much as the WGA is demanding now.