With digital distribution looking more and more like the imminent future of movies, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has teamed up with Apple to add a new feature to the iTunes movie store that does one better than DVD. Sony is “quietly testing” features that will be exclusive to people who purchase a movie on iTunes, such as the ability to clip scenes from their movies to share on social networks as well the ability to search for certain words in the script. It’s their hope that features like this will entice people to purchase on iTunes instead of DVD while simultaneously acting as an experiment to what’s possible within the digital medium.
Honestly, it’s about time that movie studios wake up to the fact that some of the best marketing they can do is to let people have at it with short clips of their films to put on YouTube and Facebook. With all the money they spend on advertising and promotion, why spend more money on lawyers to issue DMCA notices to YouTube to take down a 30 second clip of a film that’s already been seen by a million people? Let the consumers do the advertising for you.
The first movies to get this treatment are Salt, The Other Guys and Resident Evil: Afterlife.