Set-top box movie download service provider Vudu will offer a downloadable HD version of The Bourne Ultimatum today, the same day the movie is released on DVD. The move represents a shift from the typical stages of a film’s release, in which the DVD comes first, followed by a download option later on.
Unlike other films in Vudu’s library, Bourne is only available for purchase for $24.99, not for rental. Vudu plans to make similar same-day offers in the future.
This news makes today a very special DVD release day. Yesterday we wrote about Harry Potter’s download-on-a-DVD option. Coupled with this news, it’s clear that the studios are actively experimenting with new distribution models in this digital age. Bourne is a Universal Studios movie; Vudu also has deals to offer HD content from Lionsgate and Paramount.
If Vudu continues with this same-day-as-DVD release schedule, it will go a long way to solving one of the early problems identified with the service — the lag time between theater to download. Though I’m not convinced that Matt Damon’s mug is enough to convince anyone to fork over $399 for another box for their TV.
Update: The Hollywood Reporter writes that Vudu is also set to announce today that it will start selling episodes of FOX TV programs like 24, Prison Break and NYPD Blue. Shows will be available to own for $1.99.