Comcast has been beefing up their video-on-demand offerings this year, launching several barely exciting initiatives such as politicians holding babies on demand and high-definition art on demand. With the popularity of VOD content exploding, they've gained some negotiating leverage with major studios, and are now exploring the possibility of offering on-demand movies the same day they come out on DVD, for the same price as a traditional rental. Tinkering with the sacred institution of theater film release windows traditionally hasn't sat well in the industry, so it will be interesting to see if Comcast has enough financial muscle to move this out of two city (Pittsburgh and Denver) trials. This 30- to 45-day gap that exists between DVD release and VOD release is the bread and butter for brick and mortar retailers like Blockbuster, but becomes increasingly absurd with the growth of VOD and on-line distribution. What is the point of such a release window when the goal is to reach the maximum number of viewers? Just give the users what they want, when they want it, in the format they demand.
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