Warner Bros is going to launch a new service, called In2Movies
, which will offer movies for download, legally.
Hoping to minimise the downloading of its movies illegally, the offering is what we imagine to be a broader online strategy from the movie house. Some of the titles to be offered for download include Batman Begins and Harry Potter.
Users will also be able to grab episodes of the popular teen drama The O.C.
that the service will launch in Germany, Austria and Switzerland initially, with roll-out to begin in March. Presumably, Warner doesn't want to risk upsetting its American business model with an untested methodology, so is launching in smaller territories first. However, the service is broadly expected to roll-out worldwide should the trial prove popular and financially viable.
Warner are quoted in the Forbes article as suggesting that one of the best ways to beat piracy is to offer a better legitimate alternative. Finally! Is Hollywood starting to wake up to the fact that people want content delivered by the internet, and it might as well not make us all into criminals? We can but hope.
Of course, Warner is betting on the attractiveness of its catalogue of content to attract buyers, and there's no pricing details yet. If only a mediocre selection of movies is offered, and the price is too high, consumers will probably feel that there's a bigger selection of content for less money available on BitTorrent, and will continue to put up with the hassle involved.
Can individual studios be successful at putting their own content online? Aren't they better off partnering with a distribution partner such as Apple, who's iTunes application is proving the soaraway market leader for digital distribution? Would yo ustop torrenting if there was a decent legitimate alternative? Let us know what you think of the whole thing over in the forums.