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Fox Hopes To Jump-Start Digital Movie Sell-Through

LOS ANGELES – Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment hopes to jump-start the electronic sell-through (EST) business for movies with the launch of its Digital HD initiative, which lets consumers purchase a movie title for streaming or downloading to multiple home and portable devices.

More than 600 Fox films, including catalog titles and new releases, are available today in more than 50 countries for HD streaming or downloading from Amazon, CinemaNow, Google Play, iTunes, PlayStation, Vudu, Xbox Live and YouTube. Title prices average less than $15, and the titles can be purchased in digital form without buying a physical DVD or Blu-ray Disc, as has been the case with the movie industry’s Digital Copy initiative and with titles available to date for the UltraViolet movie-locker service.

The studio is encouraging competitors to adopt the Digital HD brand and business model to expand the EST market, a spokesman said. EST, though available, “has never really been launched,” the spokesperson said.

Fox said it will drive adoption by launching through a wide range of online sites already used by consumers. “People are familiar with their own platforms,” a spokesman said.

Also to expand the market, Fox launched what it believes is the home-video industry’s largest all-digital media campaign focused on digital movies. Digital ads will be placed on about 20 major online sites reach more than 100 million active movie viewers. The campaign will run for at least one month and include movie-streaming and -download sites and major sports, music and gaming sites.

Also to promote the launch, Fox is offering the movie “Prometheus” in Digital HD three weeks before it becomes available on Blu-ray, DVD or video on demand. “Prometheus” is also Fox’s first movie compatible with the UltraViolet locker service.