October 25, 2013
In an effort to encourage more digital movie sales, Sony’s new initiative, Vudu Extras+, is letting people who buy movies via Walmart’s online video service share extras like behind-the-scenes footage on Facebook and Twitter. The idea is that if added bonus content is available, people will be willing to pay for it — and happy to share. Sony says 40 percent of people who buy Blu-ray discs usually watch the extras, which is reason enough to offer this new option.
“District 9” is the initiative’s first film to offer up extras like 17 movie clips, five deleted scenes and five clips of a “filmmaker’s log,” according to The New York Times. The content is all shareable with a link that takes users to a different site where the clip is embedded. Other, more exclusive content can be accessed by users who buy the movie for $9.99 or more.
Sony is hoping that other studios and retailers will get on board with the idea. One of the biggest benefits for the studios is that it would allow for the one-time creation of extras to be disseminated among various retailers. Currently, the extras are specialized depending on the retailer, which takes more time and money.
20th Century Fox Home Entertainment Worldwide president Mike Dunn expressed interest in the new Vudu format, saying, “Setting a standard for it and having more and more service providers take that standard is the way to go.” He said that currently, each service provider is different and that “you have to build one for this guy and another one for that guy. It’s just not cost effective.”
One of the most innovative new features being offered up by Vudu Extras+ is a search feature that allows movie buyers to “jump to certain scenes after searching keywords in dialogue,” according to NYT. James Underwood, an executive vice president of strategy for Sony, believes such extras are “one of the motivating factors for purchasing a film.” And the added ability to share the content using social media will likely be another.