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Microsoft Expands Video Marketplace Offerings

28 Mar, 2007 By: John Gaudiosi

Video Marketplace, Microsoft's digital-delivery service for the Xbox 360, is now the No. 2 online distributor of movie and television content, second only to iTunes, according to Microsoft's Albert Penello, director of global platform marketing for Xbox.

He said Video Marketplace is currently the No. 1 digital distribution network for the living room, as well as the only service to provide both TV shows and movies in high-definition.

It's these types of numbers that have attracted new Hollywood studios to the service.

New Line Cinema is now offering new movies such as A Prairie Home Companion, How to Eat Fried Worms, Snakes on a Plane, Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny, plus catalog films such as The Player, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, The Butterfly Effect and Magnolia on the service in HD.

Anime producer ADV Films is bringing its content to the Video Marketplace, as well.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, which was one of the first studios to commit to the service, has debuted day-and-date releases for straight-to-DVD titles in high-definition, such as Sublime and Babylon 5: The Lost Tales.

Paramount Pictures, for the first time, will offer its feature films for download in high-definition. Available titles will include Braveheart, Team America: World Police, World Trade Center and South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut.

Penello said that while traditional new releases on Video Marketplace will follow the VOD window timing, studios are starting to experiment with day-and-date releases for films.

TV networks are also joining in on the digital download service. Unlike the movie service, which is a rental model, gamers can purchase TV shows and keep them forever on their Xbox 360 hard drive. Penello said that if a TV show is ever deleted, a consumer can download it again any time he or she wants.

A&E Network is bringing “Dog the Bounty Hunter,” “King of Cars,” “Gene Simmons Family Jewels,” “Driving Force” and “Criss Angel Mindfreak” to the service. National Geographic is offering TV series like “Is It Real?” and “Taboo” as well as documentaries like “21 Days to Baghdad” and “Air Force One.”

TotalVid, a broad action-sports company, has extreme skiing and snowboarding, skateboarding, motocross, surfing and mountain biking videos available on Video Marketplace.

Other Hollywood partners include CBS Broadcasting, Lionsgate Entertainment, MTV Networks, Turner Broadcasting System Inc. and Ultimate Fighting Championship. There is currently more than 1,500 hours of programming on Video Marketplace.

Current Top 10 Movies on Video Marketplace

The Departed
Employee of the Month
Snakes on a Plane
Jackass Number Two
Undisputed 2: Last Man Standing
Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

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