The download to rent service lets users save movies to their computer, meaning that Film4oD viewers can watch films offline for the first time.
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Film4oD was launched as an online streaming service in November last year, and now has more than 50,000 registered users. With the expansion into offline viewing, it hopes to increase its user-base allowing those with low bandwidth or those on the move to access the movies too. Users can also begin watching a movie while it is downloading. Jeff Henry, FilmFlex CEO, said:
“FilmFlex continues to innovate using the latest technologies to allow our clients to offer the very best movie service to their customers. The download to rent service makes it easier for those with low bandwidths or those on the go to enjoy the greatest selection of movies online. Download to rent is yet another enhancement of our offering to our brand partners as we continue to extend FilmFlex’s leading white-label position into new platforms and new markets”.
FilmFlex is a joint venture between Sony Pictures Television and The Walt Disney Company. It has managed the video-on-demand service on Virgin Media since 2005, and has notched up over 65m buys to date. The company says there are more partnerships in the pipeline later this year.
On Film4oD movies are available from between £0.99 to £3.99, and the service launches with Attack The Block and Arthur available to watch the same day as they are released on DVD. Julia Wrigley, Head of Film4, says:
“Video on demand continues to soar in popularity with viewers enjoying the freedom to watch their preferred content on their own terms. We’re excited to extend our relationship with FilmFlex to offer ‘download to rent’, further strengthening the viewer experience alongside the Film4oD online streaming and Film4 channel.”
The movie rentals will offer unlimited viewing for up to 48 hours after the initial play, and each film has a rental period of up to 30 days. The movies are protected by digital rights management technologies and the service is geo-blocked, meaning it will work in the UK only.