With the launch of 20th Century Fox’s (s NWS) Unstoppable on Blu-ray, the studio is taking a step toward expanding distribution to other platforms as well. For the first time, owners of the Blu-ray disc will be able to transfer the movie to Android (s goog) devices for viewing on the go.
The ability to copy Unstoppable is made possible through BD Live and the PocketBlu Android app, which is available as a free download on the Android market. For users to do so, they need the Unstoppable Blu-ray disc, a Wi-Fi-connected Blu-ray player, an Android device running version 1.6 or later of the mobile OS. Users can also copy Blu-ray extras, such as the director’s commentary and other features, to their mobile phones. While Unstoppable is the first Blu-ray title to have this feature, it won’t be the last: 20th Century Fox expects to make Android copies available on all its major new release titles in 2011.
Copying a movie to a mobile device is just one way that Hollywood studios like 20th Century Fox are trying to add value to physical media and convince consumers that it’s worth owning a piece of content, rather than renting it from Netflix (s NFLX) or digital video services like Apple’s (s AAPL) iTunes. Last year, Disney (s DIS) partnered with Walmart’s Vudu (s WMT) to enable consumers that purchased a Blu-ray disc to also be able to watch Toy Story 3 on Vudu-enabled devices, such as Sony Playstation 3 (s sne) game consoles.
The ultimate goal for studios is for consumers to be able to buy a title once, whether it be a physical Blu-ray disc or a digital download, and watch it across a wide variety of devices. To that end, a number of studios and technology companies have formed the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE), which seeks to establish a digital rights locker in which consumer purchase information is stored in the cloud.
At the same time, it might be too late to bring back the market for owning content, whether it be on physical discs like Blu-ray or online. A recent forecast from iSuppli’s Screen Digest expects revenues from Internet video-on-demand (i.e. online rentals) to surpass digital movie purchases by 2013.
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