Spotify Looking To Launch Streaming Movie Service With Very Short Theatrical Window – UPDATE

Posted by April 28, 2011 Comment

I use the music streaming service Spotify an awful lot. I’ve even mentioned it here, from time to time. Hopefully, it’s a service that will go from strength to strength, gather lots of paying subscribers, play a part in curtailing piracy and help create new revenue streams for recording artists. There’s a lot that will have to change before we’re there, but “one step at a time” and all that.

Now, just like Streisand or Cher (to be, you know, really camp about it), it seems that Spotify are looking to branch out from music and into movies. Tech Crunch report:

They’ve negotiated a number of deals with major movie studios to offer users streaming movies as well as music, a source in the industry tells us…. We believe the studio deals being negotiated are for worldwide rights, so Spotify users anywhere would have access.

Obviously, the full details are under deep cover, but Tech Crunch suggest a few specifics. The service might launch in the Autumn of this year, they believe, and the movies on offer will be very fresh, with just a couple of weeks offset from theatrical release.

Now, it’s this short window which is going to cause the most controversy here. It’s becoming increasingly clear that the studios are looking to get into fast turnaround, premium rate VOD, and this has drawn a lot of fire from creatives in the industry. Judging from Spotify’s exisiting business model for providing music, however, I’d guess that they’d offer films for a flat subscription fee, and this is bound to meet even more resistance from Peter Jackson, James Cameron et al.

None of this is going to stop me wanting to go to the cinema for new releases. Heck, I’d even go for old releases if rep cinema hadn’t pretty much crumbled away. But I know I’m in the minority here, and that services like this are going to damage revenues at the multiplex severely.

And I’m frightened of the long term effects that will follow this…

UPDATE: Spotify’s CEO Daniel Ek has tweeted a denial –

No it ain’t true. Media these days are funny. Soon I’ll be reading that Spotify is launching a space rocket.

So, we probably won’t be seeing Spotify amongst the many, short window VOD systems on the horizon.

(Last Updated April 29, 2011 10:29 am )