Real Networks and Starz Encore Group have launched a new service delivering films over broadband to US subscribers. A US$12.95 (€10.68) subscription to Starz Ticket gives viewers access to a library of major films encoded in RealVideo 10 with download times of as little as 20 minutes. Titles include such reasonably recent fare as Pirates of the Caribbean, and comedy fish movie Finding Nemo.
Content providers seem to like subscription models, either charging a flat rate for access to all content, or a lower subscription with content priced individually. It’s a good way of locking in customers.
“In the cable and satellite world the ‘all you can eat’ subscription business model has proven to be much more popular than the transactional pay-per-view model,” said Starz chairman, founder and CEO, John J. Sie.
Subscriptions are a cheaper business model too, as lots of small individual transactions cost money to process and unless all your customers suddenly jump ship one month, month to month income is more predictable.
It’s a shame that geographical boundaries still apply to distribution rights – there’s no other reason why Starz Ticket should be US only.