Universal relies on video-on-demand in the Corona crisis

The coronavirus is forcing many branches of industry into crisis. And so the situation is anything but good for the film studios. This is not by chance. After all, thanks to Netflix and Co., people are now forced to enjoy film entertainment at home. This is due to the closure of many cinemas around the world. In response to this, Universal, one of the largest movie studios, is now looking to move to video on demand.

Current blockbusters now available on home TV?

The corona virus demands improvisation skills from film studios. Since people can no longer go to the cinema, some now want to take an unusual direction. Not only films that have already been released, but also blockbusters that are about to be released will soon be available as video-on-demand. NBC Universal has now announced this in the USA. This means in particular that the films will be made available as video-on-demand parallel to the actual cinema premiere.

We’ll start on March 20th

The launch of the video-on-demand offer is scheduled for next Friday. This launch will initially include three films that have already been released in US cinemas. In particular, these are the Universal films “The Invisible”, “Emma” and “The Hunt”. The cost of renting a film is no small matter at around 20 US dollars. Those who have rented a film can watch it for 48 hours.

No own streaming service

However, Universal now does not want to compete with Netflix and Co. The big film studio rather wants to use already existing providers as a distribution platform. In particular, the providers Amazon Prime Video or iTunes are to make the films available as video-on-demand. The most decisive trigger for this special step by Universal was certainly the look at the box office results of the last weekend. These fell to the lowest point in 20 years. Universal seems to be pulling the rip cord. After all, the disappointing numbers will most likely be just the beginning. Because it is more than likely that all cinemas in the USA will soon have to close. Here, all film studios will have to find a way to avoid high losses.

Not all films should be available

Anyone who now has the hope that Universal will continue to rely on video-on-demand after the Corona pandemic will probably be disappointed. After all, the big film studio is not really convinced of the economic strength of this idea, according to its own statements. Accordingly, Universal has simply postponed promising film releases instead of including them in the video-on-demand offer. The film studio has announced that the new blockbuster from the Fast and Furious franchise will not be released until April 2021.

The offer is only limited

But Universal will probably include some exciting films in its video-on-demand offer. For example, the new in-house animated film “Trolls 2”, scheduled for release at the end of April, will be available. However, there is not yet a list of the upcoming films that will be made available. Universal has announced that there will be a decision on a case-by-case basis. However, the video-on-demand offers will only continue until the crisis is over.

Will the offer come to Germany?

However, the video-on-demand offer is not to be launched simultaneously worldwide. Initially, the offer is limited to the USA. When and whether the offer will be launched in Germany is currently unclear. The demand would certainly also exist in this country. After all, all cinemas in Germany are now closed. Thus, “The Invisible One” could also be included in the video-on-demand offer as a current feature film.

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Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Berlin.

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