Online multimedia site Guba has signed a deal with Sony Pictures Home Entertainment that makes it the first video-sharing community to distribute Sony Pictures movies online.
Benjamin Feingold, SPHE president of worldwide home entertainment, digital distribution and acquisitions, said the company was attracted to the idea of offering its movies alongside user-created content in an environment that respects copyrights and ownership.
If you look at cable, you have services that are basic-tier products and premium-tier products next to each other, he said. We wanted to see how the chemistry would play out between online user-generated content and traditional studio and indie movie content for ownership and rental. User-generated content is getting eyeballs, and we're happy that Guba is cleaning up the availability of unauthorized content.
More than 100 of the studio's feature-length movies will become available on the Guba Premium online video service effective immediately. Feingold said this initial slate is very diverse and includes such titles as Spider-Man 2, Memoirs of a Geisha, Kung Fu Hustle, Hitch and the 1957 classic The Bridge on the River Kwai.
SPHE expects to offer 500 films within a year, including day-and-date releases.
We are open for business on the Internet, Feingold said. This is consistent with our studio's history of bringing the finest entertainment to people through new technologies and channels.
Guba launched its premium download service with Warner Bros. Entertainment content in June. Before that, major studios had limited their online distribution partners to such companies as Movielink and CinemaNow, in which at least one of them had an equity stake.
Our partnership with Sony Pictures is another major validation of our platform and a significant effort by Sony to make online distribution of film attractive to the Internet audience, Guba CEO Thomas McInerney said. We're the first they've done a deal with outside of the two main players in the space, and we've already had a lot of support from Sony, so I'm hoping we will have a very close relationship.
Download-to-own new releases are priced at $19.99, with catalog titles from $9.99. Rentals start at $1.99 for a 24-hour rental. Because of digital rights management restrictions, they can be played only on hardware that supports Microsoft's Windows Media 10.