YouTube Launches On-Demand Streaming Business Via 'The Interview'
December 26, 2014 at 8:45 AM (PT)
NORTH KOREA may have inadvertently helped kickstart a new method of entertainment distribution, BLOOMBERG reports. Whether the repressive Korean government was indeed responsible for hacking SONY's corporate files and threatening havoc on the film's planned CHRISTMAS day opening, the subsequent pull-out then re-release of SETH ROGEN and EVAN GOLDBERG's "The Interview" has focused the spotlight on GOOGLE's YOUTUBE as a viable entertainment portal.
Offered at $5.99 to rent and $14.99 to own on YOUTUBE MOVIES and GOOGLE PLAY -- as well as XBOX VIDEO and seetheinterview.com, SONY's official streaming site -- the movie quickly leapfrogged all those "cute kitten" videos to top YOUTUBE's "Popular Right Now" chart.
The VOD streams helped limit the film's weekend box office from its scaled-back release in 331 theaters to approximately $1 million in CHRISTMAS day receipts, while piracy stemming from SONY's "woefully inadequate" DRM (the movie's URL could simply be copied and pasted to share with friends) also kept down the figures. According to VARIETY, high-quality versions of the film were shared with BITTORRENT sites almost a million times in the first 24 hours of the film's release.
“GOOGLE has needed a way to show love to studios for a long time and this will do it,” JAMES McQUIVEY, an analyst at FORRESTER RESEARCH said in an interview with BLOOMBERG NEWS. “Most people don’t think of” YOUTUBE as a distribution platform for feature film. It might get a film up there after it’s been out for a year or two, so this is a good move.”
Already a top site for music videos as part of its partnership with VEVO, YOUTUBE is solidly positioned as a destination spot for audio releases, too.