Disney Changes On-Demand Movie Windows Via New MovieBeam Service; The New MovieBeam Launches In 29 C

Disney CEO Bob Iger has been outspoken about his belief that some distribution windows are outdated. Now Disney will release some of its movies on demand the same day they go to DVD — and it will do so using a new service from MovieBeam, the recent spinoff in which it still holds a share. MovieBeam is launching the service, which still requires a special set-top box, in 29 cities today, according to the WSJ. Films from other studios will be offered after the usual 30-45 day window between DVD issue and on-demand release; Disney and Warner Bros. titles will be offered in HD for the first time on demand.
— MovieBeam will offer 10 movies a week to the set-top box.

— The set-top can hold 100 movies but each movie can be viewed only for 24 hours from selection.

— The boxes will be sold at retail by Best Buy for $250 — $199 after a rebate. The activation fee is $29.99.

— Movies run $3.99 for new releases; $1.99 for library. Hi-def titles will run an extra $1.

— According to the Journal, other studios signed on include News Corp.’s 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures and New Line Cinema.

It’s taken nearly three years, some serious rethinking and a spin-off to get MovieBeam to this point. The spin-off, which was accompanied by a $52.5 million in funding, was announced earlier this month. The funders: Mayfield, Norwest Venture Partners, Intel Capital, Cisco, Vantage Point Venture Partners and Disney/ABC.

Related: Moviebeam Recapitalized; Gets $52.5 Million in Funding; Spun Off From Disney