Blog Post

Xbox's Surprising News on Movie Downloads;'s Unsurprising One

Someone’s finally realizing it makes more business sense for that broadband pipe to get the downloaded movies onto TV…it is that simple, it is that complex. The early proof? That Microsoft’s XBox Live movie downloads are doing relatively well, if you believe the company numbers which this Variety story cites. Though exact numbers are not available, the story says that it’s the most, and maybe only, positive story in digital movie downloads this year. Though there are fewer than 3.5 million XBox 360s in the U.S. by last count, movies available from Warner and Paramount, as well as content from CBS and MTV on the TV side, are doing at least as well and, in some cases, better than on competing online movie service websites. And MSFT is talking with every other major except Sony (competing PS3) to bring their content in as well.
Another good surprise: For Warner, the only studio offering HD versions of its movies, consumers are consistently downloading more copies of HD when both are offered, even though it takes several extra hours to get the HD version, and it is $1 more..
On the other hand,’s Unbox service is, well, not doing so well. Its sales have been as slow as at other websites — under 100 downloads per day for some titles. Also, in related Unbox news, has added movies/shows from its on-demand DVD service CustomFlix to Unbox…CustomFlix sells DVDs of some networks’ archived shows, including NBC’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, Antiques Roadshow from PBS and some CBS News programs. said the new arrangement would add thousands of movies to Unbox’s catalog.