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Universal Bows Streaming Window


Pirate Radio
Pirate Radio

By : Erik Gruenwedel | Posted: 27 Jan 2010


Citing an ever-changing marketplace for home entertainment, Universal Studios Home Entertainment will make new release Pirate Radio available to cable video-on-demand (VOD), electronic sellthrough and streaming one month ahead of the title’s DVD and Blu-ray Disc release.

Dubbed a test program, Universal will make the quirky $8 million comedy starring Philip Seymour Hoffman available March 11, with packaged media release set for April 13, according to distributor Ingram Entertainment.

Prebook deadline was pushed back to Feb. 22 from Jan. 18, with the electronic announce date set for Feb. 9.

The distributor, in a note to retailers, said the studio wanted to evaluate consumer response to a smaller box-office title and how it might impact packaged media.

“We believe that the marketing and promotion that will be launched for Pirate Radio on VOD and [electronic sellthrough] may drive more sales and rentals for the DVD when released,” Ingram said in a note to retailers.

Universal Studios Home Entertainment president Craig Kornblau said the move was in response to changing consumer habits.

“Making Pirate Radio available via digital and cable VOD ahead of the DVD and Blu-ray is just one model we are exploring as we move through the process of evaluating the landscape,” Kornblau said.

Indeed, a lack of new releases on DVD and Blu-ray Disc contributed to Universal Studios reporting a $400 million decline in operating revenue to $1.2 billion in the fourth-quarter (ended Dec. 31, 2009).

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