Online Movie Downloads: the Future of Modern Film Viewing

Topics: Film, Movie theater, Warner Bros. Pages: 6 (2177 words) Published: October 28, 2008
For the past one hundred plus years numerous people have escaped the daily grind of life via the movie cinema. In fact, the movie cinema has been around in both America and Europe since 1905 when the first nickelodeon theatres sprang into existence (Pellettieri, 2007). Viewing a movie at the local cinema was for many generations a rite of passage for weekend activity. As time has passed movie viewing venues have brought the theatre into our homes via video tapes and Digital Video Disk (commonly know as DVD). However, even with these home viewing venues the viewer still had to go out, or send out to rent the viewing material. But, with the 21st Century now upon us a new venue called online movie downloads has now arrived, and it is steadily becoming the future theatre for viewing film. It seems the internet has replaced, or augmented so many other previous entertainment technologies. For the past several years people have been able to read their newspapers, and magazines, or listen to their favorite music via the internet. So, what has taken so long for the movie industry to catch up? First, for the past several years most of the large movie production studios have been fighting online release of movies until they could ensure their productions had limited exposure to piracy (BBC Online News, 2006). Second, the proper online distribution web sites never truly seemed to materialize until recently with the entrance of internet movie download or rental sites like Apple, CinemaNow, Movielink and Netflix(BBC News Online, 2006). However, in the past several years the online movie download concept does appear to have picked up steam within the film and television Industry. There now seems to be a fair amount of positive progress being made by several major production studios in regards to releasing film and television productions online. In 2006 several the major US film studios Universal Pictures, Warner Brothers and Twentieth Century Fox agreed to release their productions to several download-to-own web sites (BBC Online News, 2006). The success of these releases should open the door for other film studios both across the globe to allow online downloading of their productions. Additionally, several other major studios have begun to develop online programs from digital content studios. Movie and television industry leaders such as ABC, CBS, Sony, and Disney are all looking for new artistic film talent to create online programs which could be popular with several age groups. These studios are developing this idea based on statistics that show a dramatic increase in online video viewing by individuals between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four (Littlejohn, 2008). But, even with the participation of major film industry giants there is still a general online industry consensus that traditional media companies have not yet fully tapped the power of the internet (Littlejohn, 2008). The internet movie viewing potential has become so attractive that more than just movie or television studios have been eyeing the concept of online movie downloading. In fact, various governments worldwide have begun to work legally towards converting to a modern distribution of film online to promote culture, trade and advance the global film industry. One such example of government support for promoting better online distribution of film globally was the 2005 Cannes film Festival summit held by the European Union. During that summit, “Twenty-five culture ministers at the event acknowledged that the chance for film-makers to target new audiences was huge on the web" (Briggs, 2005). Also, during one speech at the event the European Union Media Commissioner Viviane Reding expressed that global interest in utilizing online downloaded visual media would increase exponentially over the next several years (Briggs, 2005). As the major film industry studios move closer towards developing a globalized online viewing option, their products...

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