SCOOPING THE STUDIOS, INTERTAINER LAUNCHES VOD SERVICE IN TOP
35 BROADBAND MARKETS
Video Store Magazine
Intertainer Inc., an entertainment-on-demand broadband service,
and Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday that Intertainer's video-on-demand
(VOD) subscription service is now available in the nation's top
35 broadband markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago,
Boston, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.
With a catalog of Hollywood films, TV shows, music videos and concerts,
Intertainer becomes the first company to offer a widely available
VOD service for broadband-connected PCs featuring premium content
delivered with better-than-VHS quality, according to a joint press
release from Intertainer and Microsoft, the largest investor in
privately held Intertainer.
The Intertainer service officially launches Wednesday at www.intertainer.tv
Later this month, Intertainer will be promoted through co-branded
Web pages on the MSN network of Internet services.
"Video-on-demand is the future of personal entertainment, offering
viewers unprecedented convenience, choice and control," said
Jonathan Taplin, c.e.o. of Culver City, Ca.-based Intertainer. "With
the industry-leading quality of Windows Media and MSN's unparalleled
reach, Intertainer is bringing America into that future with a pervasive,
fun and easy-to-use entertainment service."
"Intertainer has put all the pieces together to make video-on-demand
work at last for home viewers," said Will Poole, v.p. of the
Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "Intertainer's
outstanding library offers the kind of top-tier entertainment people
have been waiting for, and the technology is here today to deliver
a great viewing experience."
The Intertainer library features more than 70,000 hours of content,
including films from major Hollywood studios and a variety of television
and music programming from more than 70 premium content providers.
Intertainer content partners include Universal Pictures, Warner
Bros., Dreamworks SKG, Artisan Entertainment, New Line Cinema, NBC,
A&E Television Networks, Discovery Channel, EMI Music, ESPN,
PBS, Warner Music Group and others.
Content available now on the Intertainer service includes:
w Major motion pictures including
The Mexican, Fifteen Minutes, Blow, Miss Congeniality and Sweet
w Broadcast TV programming including Ken Burns' "Baseball"
documentary series, A&E's "Biography" series, episodes
of "Saturday Night Live" and a variety of cooking, travel,
fitness, education and do-it-yourself programs; and
w Music videos and concerts from artists such as Fatboy Slim, Nine
Inch Nails, Missy Elliot, Moby, Frank Sinatra, James Brown, Madonna,
Miles Davis, Paul Simon, Eric Clapton, Radiohead and many others.
Intertainer charges about $8 per month for its basic programming
service, plus pay-per-view fees of $2.99 to $3.99 per movie.
The studios will typically provide new releases to Intertainer 30
to 45 days after they appear in video stores, the same time they're
made available to cable and satellite pay-per-view services. But
deals vary, and Intertainer does not have automatic access to all
of the studios' catalogs or current films.
Intertainer's service is delivered using Microsoft's Windows Media
for enhanced viewing, and content is protected with Windows Media
Digital Rights Management to give customers seamless access to their
video selections while protecting the rights of content owners.
All video content available through the Intertainer service is encoded
at 500 Kbps using Windows Media Video 8 to deliver full-screen video.
Intertainer content plays in an embedded Windows Media Player that
offers full VCR functionality, allowing viewers to pause, rewind
and fast-forward their video selections.
Beginning Oct. 25, Intertainer will be prominently featured on MSN
Entertainment, ensuring great visibility for the service, since
more than 10 million people visit MSN sites each month. Visitors
to MSN will be able to easily access Intertainer's content through
a co-branded video-on-demand page located within the movies section.
Prominently featuring Intertainer, the co-branded page will provide
MSN users the opportunity to view Intertainer content showcases
as well as information on how to subscribe.
Microsoft will also feature promotional Intertainer content on WindowsMedia.com,
a leading Internet guide to audio and video content.
Intertainer is working with network service providers such as Broadwing
to provide users high-quality service. Broadwing's all-optical switched
network provides the capacity and performance to handle high-quality
Intertainer's subscription service begins with FirstPass, which
gives subscribers unlimited access to a select library of premium
television, lifestyle and children's programs, for only $7.99 per
month. Programming is updated every week, creating a flow of new
selections. Once users sign up for FirstPass, full-length feature
films can be purchased on a pay-per-view basis. New-release titles
are $3.99, library titles are $2.99 and music videos are free.
Internet subscribers with broadband connection speeds of at least
580 Kbps who reside in the country's top 35 broadband markets will
be able to choose from the large selection of premium on-demand
entertainment programming and watch instantly. Viewers can watch
directly on a PC or on a television linked to a PC with an S-video
cable or a wireless connection.
Intertainer will be available in the following cities: Atlanta;
Baltimore; Boston; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Cincinnati; Cleveland;
Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Detroit; Hartford, Conn.; Houston;
Indianapolis; Kansas City, Mo.; Los Angeles; Miami; Milwaukee; Minneapolis;
Nashville, Tenn.; New York; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; Phoenix;
Pittsburgh; Portland, Ore.; Raleigh, N.C.; Sacramento, Calif.; Salt
Lake City; San Diego; San Francisco; Seattle; St. Louis; Tampa,
Fla. and Washington D.C.
The service features content from partners including Universal Pictures,
Warner Bros., DreamWorks SKG, New Line Cinema, A&E Networks,
NBC, Discovery, ESPN, Pearson Television, Warner Music, EMI Music
and many others.
Strategic partners include Comcast, Intel, Microsoft, NBC, Qwest