twice connect

Paramount, Seagate Strike Movie Deal

4/19/2010 12:01:00 AM Eastern

NEW YORK — Paramount Pictures
has teamed with Seagate to preload 21
movies onto the hard-drive maker’s Free
Agent Go portable drive.

The agreement, which started April
12, places the movies onto a 500GB drive
with one movie, last year’s “Star Trek,”
being given away for free. The others
can be unlocked and purchased with
prices ranging from $9.99 to $14.99. The
DRM license acquired with each movie
allows it to be played either on a TV
or on up to three different
PCs. However, they cannot
be burned onto a DVD.

The 20 other movies are
a mix of older films like
“Ghost” and newer favorites,
said Paramount.

The preloaded 500GB
Free Agent Go is available
today from Seagate’s online
store and will work its way into retail in the
coming months. As an added promotion,
Seagate will sell the drive for $99, down
from the usual $139.

Customers will receive
documentation when they
purchase a movie and
there is a system to allow
for a second download if
the Free Agent Go drive is
lost or broken.

Each company sees the deal as a way to entice a new group of customers to
their product.

Malik Ducard, senior VP of digital distribution
for the Americas, Paramount
Digital Entertainment, said, “As a studio
a top priority is to get people in front
of our movies. Our job is to go where the
eyeballs are.”

Seagate sees the move as adding a
bit of excitement to an otherwise stodgy
product category.

“Why do the majority of people buy
an external hard drive? Because they
ran out of room on their PC’s hard
drive — that is not very fun,” said Darcy
Clarkson, Seagate’s sales and marketing

Seagate’s installed base of Free
Agent Go owners will also be made
aware of this program so they can take

Additional movies will be made available
through this deal in the near future,
the companies said.

Separately, Paramount will shortly
be opening an online movie-download
service which gives Seagate, and other
customers, access to part of its movie

Ducard said Paramount is quite comfortable
with the DRM technology being
used and it has enabled to take what he
called, “a meaningful step” into a new
distribution method.

The system to be used will allow these
films to be viewed on a wide variety of
formats and products, Ducard said.

As a space-saving measure, the
movies are stored in standard defi nition
and take up about 10 percent of
the drive’s capacity. Paramount and
Seagate are considering using HD versions
in the future.

Seagate does not believe having standard
definition movies is necessarily a

Gregory Falgiano, product marketing
manager for Seagate Retail, said
the movies are optimized for playback
on a TV screen and are of near DVD
quality. Also, he said people are accustomed
to watching lower quality video
from sources like YouTube on their

Neither firm would discuss their revenue
sharing agreement.