With so many different formats the release windows sure can be a jungle to understand. Here below I explain ten different release windows (and the typical deals) that comes along with it.
UVOD - ULTRA VIDEO ON DEMAND
The movies are released (via streaming) weeks before theatrical, or on the same day as the theatrical release.
Platforms: iTunes (via download), Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus; Magnolia, IFC, Radius/TWC
Note. Retail prices range from $25 - $30. The platforms typically charge the content owner/licensor a distribution fee of 30%
The theatrical is no longer the immediate profit center like it used to be. This is the result of high costs of production, marketing and releasing. Often producers use a theatrical release for the sole purpose to make PR and establish market demands internationally.
Platform: Theatres / Cinemas
Note. Exhibitors fee 40-70% of the theatrical gross
The movie made available via streaming for a premium price the same day as theatrical release.
Platforms: iTunes (via download), Amazon Prime, Hulu Plus, Google Play, Xbox, Playstation.
Note. Retail prices from $20 - $25. Distribution fee 20-30%
Everything from hotels, airlines to ships and schools. The movie is often available two months after theatrical premiere.
Note. Distribution fee 50%
DIGITAL HD or DTO ( Download to own )
Previously known as EST (electronic sell-through) usually available two and a half months after theatrical on several platforms such as iTunes, Amazon as well as studios own UltraViolet cloud.
Platforms: iTunes, Comcast Xfinity, Amazon
Note. The platform typically takes 15-30%.
DVD or BLUE-RAY
Tangible disc formats often available three or four months after theatrical release.
T-VOD (Transactional VOD)
You get access but not ownership to the movie. Available three to four months after theatrical via streaming or download for a low price via iTunes, Amazon or other platform.
Platforms: Cable, Satellite, iTunes, Amazon
Note. Once a consumer clicks on the VOD offering and agrees to pay the one time charge of anywhere from $1.99 to $6.99 the platform takes it´s fee normally between 20%-50%.
This is the premium cable channels window. Think HBO, Starz and Showtime with license movies to be shown typically five to six months after theatrical premiere.
Platforms: HBO, Showtime, Starz
Note. Pay-TV services license content from content owners, paying a flat fee.
SVOD (Subscription VOD)
Think Netflix, Hulu plus, Amazon Prime, C-MORE or Viaplay. Movies are available here usually one year after theatrical if in case the deal is made instead of a pay-TV window deal, or two or more years after theatrical if a traditional pay TV provider distributes the movie.
Platforms: Netflix, Viaplay, C-More, Amazon Prime
Note. SVOD providers license content for a flat fee for a 18 months term at least.