Collapsing Windows: DVD and VOD Windows Might Merge This Year

You’ll hear a lot more of this in 2006: Cable companies and major studios are discussing strategies to release movies through VOD cable services the same day they come out on DVD, in effect shrinking the release windows. This should also have a ripple-effect on online VOD and movie services too, where these movies are released earlier on the service than now.

A trial run could start soon…The studios most aggressively pursuing the idea are Walt Disney, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros. and Twentieth Century Fox, the story says.

Some experiments that might be done:

— Cable companies might experiment with raising the VOD prices (now around $4) of movies that get released at the same time as DVDs.

— They might also explore allowing a consumer to keep the movie on a DVR, or perhaps even to transfer it to a computer and burn it onto a DVD.

Studios like the idea of saving money on packaging and transporting DVDs, but might face opposition from retailers like Wal-Mart.