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 starts today, 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 with prices ranging from $9.99 to $14.99. The license acquired with each movie allows it to be played either on a TV or on up to three different PCs. 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,
will sell the drive for $99, down from the usual $139.
As a space-saving measure, the movies are stored in standard definition and take up about 10 percent of the drive's capacity. Paramount and Seagate are considering using HD versions in the future.
In addition, Paramount will shortly be opening an online movie-download service giving Seagate and other customers access to part of its movie library.
Each company sees the deal as a way to entice a new group of customers.
Malik Ducard, senior VP of digital distribution for the Americas, Paramount Digital Entertainment, said, "Our job is to go where the eyeballs are at."
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 VP.