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WebSite, Design and Web Hosting News - Starz Launches Internet Movie Download Service
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Starz Launches Internet Movie Download Service

2006-01-04 14:33:00

Backed by partnerships with Microsoft and Sony, cable network company Starz Entertainment Group unveiled an Internet movie download service.

The new service, dubbed Vongo, provides delivery of movies and other video content over the Internet for playback on Windows-based PCs, laptops, portable-media devices, and television sets. For a monthly fee of $9.99, members will have access to 1,000 movies and videos, as well as a live, streaming TV channel.

Vongo will be a large part of Sony's Connect music and video service. It will be launched later this year. Starz has expressed hope that the service will help to change how entertainment content is delivered.

"Based on the evolution of the digital entertainment space, we believe that Vongo will be the critical component in a new entertainment ecosystem," said Bob Greene, Starz senior vice president of advanced services.

Video Demand

As the iTunes video service gains traction and consumers become more comfortable with downloading video content, it is likely that more efforts like that at Starz will appear.

Although the video download market had a sluggish start a few years ago, the ubiquity of broadband has changed the nature of the race, said IDC analyst Dan Kusnetzky.

"People are becoming more interested in video delivered through different devices, like a laptop or an iPod," he said. "That interest is going to be a significant market driver, and I think we'll see some momentum in the next year as there's more of a focus on delivering video to the consumer."

Gaining Traction

As companies compete to reign in the movie and TV download arenas, it is likely that competition will become fierce, Kusnetzky added.

If the Vongo service proves successful, imitators could crop up quickly, backed by partnerships with technology and content companies.

What remains to be seen is if Vongo can provide a compelling enough model, outpacing competitors like CinemaNow and Movielink, to appeal to mass-market consumers.

"We're talking about a small slice of the movie-viewing public," said Kusnetzky. "But it's a growing audience."

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