Although it’s been a long time since Napster put the fear in the music industry, co-founder Sean Parker has been quietly influencing the world of tech ever since. As an early Facebook investor, he helped pioneer modern social networking and now he wants to do the same with getting new movie releases in the home at the same time as the cinema: for £35 a pop.
There are two main reasons that despite everything under the sun being streamable, on demand, when we want it, often for a small monthly or one-off fee, the one media that no one can access (legally) at home, is movies that have just been released. Those are restricted to cinema, because there’s concern that streaming would kill the traditional cinema industry and that they would be too easy to pirate.
The first part of that argument is an inevitable one, but it means evolution rather than death. The cinema industry ‘died’ before when TV was first popularised and it simply adapted and became what it is today.
Of course there are still some movies that really aren’t worth paying that much for. Source: Universal
The second point, is one that Parker wants to fix with his new venture called, the Screening Room. It will require a specialised £100 set top box, with hardware anti-piracy restrictions and each movie will cost £35 to play – but the idea is to make it possible to watch brand new movies, at home while they’re in the cinema; though only once (as per Variety).
To try and encourage movie studios to trial the idea, Parker’s company is offering a 40 per cent cut of the fee. The anti-piracy measures may be the big selling point though, as streaming has proved a huge success when it comes to older films and TV content, so if The Screening Room can guarantee the movies won’t be ripped, it may be on to a winner.
But of course anti-piracy technology rarely stays strong forever.
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KitGuru Says: I’d pay that to watch a new movie at home. Two cinema tickets cost over £20 now any way, plus travel, plus food and you can’t pause it. I’d pay £35 to avoid all that.