Sony’s Digital Film Store

This sounds very cool… though I wonder how compatible it will be with the PSP which certainly supports “memory cards” as the Memory Stick supports DMR through Magic Gate. I think the challenge for Sony will be that Windows Media, the only video format that supports DRM, is not a supported format by the PSP. There are ways to convert WMV files to other formats, but I doubt that works with the DRM-enabled versions.

Michael Arrieta, senior vice president of Sony Pictures, said, “I’m trying to create the new anti-Napster” and his group plans to digitize Sony Pictures’ top 500 films and make them available for the first time in various digital environments within the next year. According to the report, Sony plans to sell and make films available in flash memory for mobile phones in the next year and will also further develop its digital stores for downloading and owning films on the PC. “The future is about creating an entertainment ecosystem,” in which players, platforms, content rights and the user interface are fluid.” [Billboard PostPlay]

While it’s great that Sony is going to offer 500 digital movies and that does seem like a good number, I wonder how successful it can be only utilizing their own content. This is a standard Sony problem actually and one they seem to like re-creating. consumers don’t typically shop movies (or music) by label or studio so while 500 seems good now, if they were all there at once the number of movies you might actually be interested in watching will be considerably lower.

If a 3rd party was able to do this (ahem, Apple) I believe it would be much more successful as the iTunes Music Store has been since it can aggregate content from so many different publishers and artists without bias.

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