DivX, Film Fresh Get Studios' Blessings For Download-to-Own Movie Service


Credit: lanuiop

Funny how certain Hollywood studios have chosen to embrace certain new movie distribution strategies, and yet fight hard against the evolution of others.

Warner Bros., Lionsgate, Sony (NYSE: SNE) Pictures and Paramount have all agreed to seed a new download-to-own movie store from DivX (NSDQ: DIVX) and film site Film Fresh with their movies. Movie buffs will find a mix of new releases (all available on their street date), classic and kids films at FilmFresh.com, which they can then download to play on millions of DivX-enabled devices.

The companies say it’s the first time that people in the U.S. will be able to use DivX’s video encoding technology to take a film from the web, port it to a DVD, or even a USB drive, and then see it on their own big screen. (DivX launched a download-to-own store in France with Warner Bros, and plans to launch similar services across Europe later this year).

And because it’s download-to-own, not rent, Film Fresh Founder and CEO Rick Bolton said negotiating with studios like Warner Bros. — which has been particularly adamant about protecting its DVD sales from being cannibalized by *Netflix* or Redbox — was a breeze. “We’re in a different category than some of the streaming or rental services,” Bolton said. “That’s why there are no release windows.”

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