Disney and Sony is attempting to shake up the film industry by testing out an on-demand service in South Korea, which will offer movies to homebodies even as the films are being screened in large theater chains.
South Korea, purportedly the world’s eighth largest film market, will be the duo’s testing ground, and if proven successful the service may be rolled out to other locations.
Piracy in Asia is rampant, and the studio’s launch of their on-demand service might just be the remedy need to reduce illegal funneling of exclusive content. Globally, studios have been making an effort to roll out DVDs quicker to consumers who aren’t interested in paying $10+ (USD) just to see a new movie in theater, and these same entities are undoubtedly keeping a close eye on Sony and Disney’s progress in South Korea.
Asia aside, it’s important to keep in mind that theaters rake in the money from exclusive screenings, and if studios try to change the model now, they’ll be met with resistance. While the idea of having new movies streamed directly into people’s home as they’re released will be supported by many consumers, the brick and mortar theater business is still huge in countries like the US.
Will Disney and Sony’s plot bode well with its partners in the screening business? Probably not, and it’s unlikely that residents in the US and elsewhere will be able to screen the latest Iron Man movie without having first pay for a pricey theater ticket any time soon.