Michael Cieply on Fox’s new plan for digital movie releases:

The new system is an aggressive bid to revive consumers’ interest in the purchase of movies, by giving them an earlier shot at films for about $15 each, down from a purchase price that is currently about $20.

Three thoughts:

1) This is really just another windowing system. But smartly, the studios are playing it as “we’re moving the release on this format up!” rather than “we’re pushing the release on all other formats back!”

2) I do like the notion of lowering prices in this new windows from $20 to $15.

3) At the end of the day, it still all comes down to if the movie is worth owning or not. In our age of massive amounts of content spread across many different channels, the answer, sadly, is increasingly “no”. That’s a problem no windowing solution is going to fix.

The article also plays up that fact that Fox is going the don’t-call-it-DRM UltraViolet DRM movement. But they’re leaving out an important tidbit: Fox is also experimenting with this new windows on iTunes, which is not a part of UltraViolet. If you load up iTunes right now, you’ll see Prometheus available for pre-order on September 18 for $14.99 in HD.

Peter Kafka on a new deal (extension) just signed by Twentieth Century Fox and HBO:

In real-world terms: Previous HBO contracts meant that Fox — or other studios — couldn’t sell or rent their movies electronically while HBO was running them for the first time. Now, Fox will have the ability sell its stuff — but not rent it — on iTunes, Amazon, etc., at the same time the titles show up on HBO. 

Well that’s something, I guess. Now if only that window wasn’t completely shut the other way — meaning HBO content being sold on iTunes, Amazon, etc. It remains about a year. Which blows.