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Comcast NBCUniversal makes new movies available to stream immediately

In recognition of the fact that nobody is allowed to go to the cinema anymore, Universal pictures will allow people to rent new movies as soon as they’re released.

The first title this move will apply to is DreamWorks Animation’s Trolls World Tour, which will be released on Friday 20 March and will be immediately available to rent for, for 48 hours, 20 bucks or local equivalent. Prior to this, movies tended to have a cascade of commercial windows, with the price reducing over time, but the streaming era has made that model look increasingly obsolete.

“Rather than delaying these films or releasing them into a challenged distribution landscape, we wanted to provide an option for people to view these titles in the home that is both accessible and affordable,” said Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal. “We hope and believe that people will still go to the movies in theatres where available, but we understand that for people in different areas of the world that is increasingly becoming less possible.”

This seems like a good idea since much of the world is on lockdown thanks to COVID-19 and it wouldn’t be surprising to see other movie distributors follow suit. The only potential downside for them is that it will be hard to put the genie back in the bottle once the crisis is over and it seems likely that the era of being compelled to go to a cinema to see new releases is permanently over.


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