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CinemaNow Gaining Top Titles

24 May, 2003 By: Joan Villa

A significant number of top titles released to home video, pay-per-view and major-studio-supported Movielink are also available on competing downloading service CinemaNow, according to a recent comparison by Adams Media Research.

With 1 million unique monthly visitors, CinemaNow (which is majority-owned by Lions Gate) offers such major hits as My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Barbershop and Like Mike, while Movielink is up from 200 movies on its November launch to more than 350 titles from Warner/HBO, Columbia TriStar, Universal Studios, Paramount and MGM, said analyst Tom Adams. Fox licenses to CinemaNow but not Movielink; Disney and DreamWorks have not yet signed on either service.

“Everybody has their own approach to the issue depending on whether they think it's an opportunity worth pursuing aggressively,” Adams said.

Some 17 million households, or 31 percent of online homes, have high-speed connections capable of downloading a 90-minute movie in about 44 minutes versus more than 17 hours for a dial-up connection. Adams expects the revenue generated from downloading this year will be in the $10 million to $30 million range, compared to $300 million annually from all forms of PPV -- still a drop in the bucket compared to the $20 billion video industry.

“It's obviously very, very early, and that's why you're seeing a lot of experimentation and radically different approaches by different studios,” he said.

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