Tech Briefs

Nov 11, 2002  •  Post A Comment

The long-awaited launch of Movielink is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 11. The Internet-based movie rental service, a partnership of Sony, Warner Bros., Universal, MGM and Paramount, will begin a 90-day soft launch of the service, which allows consumers to order a movie online for a 24-hour period. During the soft launch the service will test pricing, scalability and consumer interest in a letterbox or a 4×3 format, among other issues, said Jim Ramo, Movielink’s CEO. The service will launch with 170 titles, including “Ocean’s Eleven,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “Harry Potter.”
Mr. Ramo expects the service to appeal to a younger demographic, such as teen-agers and college students, as well as to business travelers. Mr. Ramo estimates that based on Movielink’s research, one-fourth to one-third of the broadband marketplace wants movies or entertainment through broadband connectivity. “That’s the market we are going after,” he said. A full launch backed by a larger ad campaign is slated for the first quarter of 2003.
Broadband/digital cable homes on rise
Four million homes spend more than $100 a month to receive both digital cable and broadband Internet services from their cable company, according to the Leichtman Research Group. That number is double from a year ago. The study also found that the top 10 cable operators offer some form of digital service to more than 93 percent of the households in their service areas and high-speed Internet to about 80 percent of homes.