Starz, Real Launch Broadband Movie Service

From the press release:

RealNetworks, Inc. Starz Encore Group LLC (Starz) today announced the immediate availability of the first premium subscription movie service delivered over high-speed broadband connections to PCs. Offering major, recently released motion pictures, the service, called STARZ! Ticket on Real Movies, is available at or

STARZ! Ticket on Real Movies gives subscribers unlimited access to a rotating library of premium, major motion pictures for only $12.95 per month. Unlike pay-per-view services, STARZ! Ticket on Real Movies does not charge a separate fee each time a movie is downloaded. Offered in RealVideo 10 and through RealPlayer, movies will take as little as 20 minutes to download depending on the speed of the subscriber’s broadband service. Additionally subscribers will have access to a streamed version of the STARZ! linear service, marking the first time a premium movie channel has been delivered simultaneously over broadband.

“Starting today, Starz and Real are delivering a breakthrough service that gives broadband consumers a new way to watch movies whenever and wherever they want,” said Rob Glaser, founder and CEO, RealNetworks. “As the leader in consumer media subscription services delivered over the Internet, we’re proud to be partnering with Starz to deliver yet another first to consumers. Our Rhapsody service has already given hundreds of thousands of broadband consumers the ability to listen to what they want, whenever they want it, for one simple monthly price. STARZ! Ticket on Real Movies now offers the same great benefits to broadband consumers who love movies.”

“In the cable and satellite world the subscription business model has proven to be much more popular than the transactional pay-per-view model,” said Starz chairman, founder and CEO, John J. Sie. “We are pleased to bring consumers STARZ! Ticket on Real Movies, which we believe will fit well with subscribers’ viewing habits and drive deployment of high-speed broadband services We are also confident that the quality of the broadband-delivered product will live up to the high standards consumers have come to expect from Starz services.”

With Real’s Helix DRM, STARZ! Ticket on Real Movies is a secure service that is both flexible for consumers yet offers solid protection for content owners. “We have long been opposed to piracy, having seen the havoc it has caused in the music industry. Offering a legal, high-quality, convenient service at a great value is the best way to prevent illegal file sharing and put the movie industry on the right path,” Sie noted.

Hundreds of Major Movies
STARZ! Ticket on Real Movies showcases at least 100 movies at all times and includes hit films and favorite Hollywood classics from major studios. STARZ! Ticket on Real Movies offers a weekly movie rotation of approximately 25% of the movie lineup to ensure that new films are regularly available. Hollywood studios supplying films to STARZ! Ticket on Real Movies include Disney, Universal, MGM, Sony, Fox, New Line, Revolution Studios and Miramax. Movies available over the first couple of weeks of the STARZ! Ticket on Real Movie service include:

- Major hit motion pictures: Finding Nemo, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Freaky Friday, Hulk, Gangs of New York, Chicago, 2 Fast 2 Furious, and Bringing Down the House.
- Upcoming new titles include Lost in Translation, Mona Lisa Smile, Under the Tuscan Sun, and Spy Kids 3: Game Over.
- Classic films including Taxi Driver, Alien (Director’s Cut), The Poseidon Adventure, and A Raisin in the Sun.

The films are available in eight thematic categories so that customers can easily access the type of movie they want. The categories include comedy, action, drama, love stories, thriller, kids & family, Black STARZ! and classics. Also included are movie extras such as celebrity interviews and outtakes for some movies.

The service is available to consumers in the United States with a broadband connection speed of at least 600 Kbps. This requirement, delivering the best consumer experience, enables consumers to quickly download movies and watch movies instantly on the streamed version of STARZ! linear service. Consumers can watch movies on their PC or on a television linked to a PC with an S-video cable. Other features of the service include:

- DVD functionality – fast-forward, rewind and pause
- Ability to view in full screen or theater mode
- Flexibility in location – subscribers can download movies to as many as three personal computers
- Subscriber-set parental controls based on movie rating
- Ability to schedule downloads overnight to maximize bandwidth usage

RealPlayer 10 and Helix DRM Provide Highest Quality and Security
STARZ! Ticket on Real Movies is delivered using RealNetworks high-quality RealPlayer 10 technology for the best viewing experience. Content is protected with Real’s Helix Digital Rights Management to give customers seamless access to their video selections while protecting the rights of content owners.