A new report from The Wall Street Journal claims Comcast is going to start selling movies through its cable boxes. Sources close to the cable provider’s plans say Comcast is prepping a new on demand service that will allow users to easily purchase movies, an initiative that the WSJ suggests is designed to encourage consumers to starting buying content; the new feature will be in addition to Comcast’s movie rental service. Sources say the new store will roll out before the end of this year.
Comcast’s lineup will allegedly include a wide range of titles, including new releases, older movies and even some TV shows. With actual digital and DVD sales in decline, Hollywood executives are hoping Comcast’s store will help resuscitate movie ownership, which has been largely overshadowed by rentals and streaming through services like Amazon Prime and Netflix; Comcast currently has the largest cable user base of 22 million subscribers, so there’s definitely potential. Other competing services that do sell movies include iTunes and Verizon’s excellent FiOS.
Apparently, Hollywood studios are furiously pushing Comcast to roll the service out, which has been in development for about a year. Once the store is live, executives are hoping a domino effect will take place, and persuade other cable providers to hop onboard. With movie rentals at $5, and digital sales around the $15-$20 mark, it’s easy to see why consumers would prefer to rent a movie they’d only watch once anyway. Once movies and TV shows are purchased through Comcast’s new store, content will be stored in the cloud, and can be streamed to a TV, computer or tablet.