Turns out that it took less than 5 months from the moment of my prediction.
This morning, [name withheld] is rolling out what it calls a "beta" of its pay-per-download video service
it features new and recent releases from every major Hollywood studio, including Sony (Columbia, Screen Gems, MGM), Warner Bros., 20th Century-Fox, Disney, Paramount, Universal, and Lionsgate.
Now why on earth would I withhold the name? So that I can say "I told you so" yet again.
But several weeks ago, in the midst of rumors that Apple was close to announcing a deal with Disney, Wal-Mart's David Porter - the executive responsible for stocking the retailer's shelves with DVDs and CDs and whose influence is so immense in Tinseltown that he's been named to Premiere magazine's annual power list - made the rounds of Hollywood studios.Not only did Disney not worry too much about cutting a deal with Apple, Wal-Mart is jumping into the game with both feet forward.
The movie industry has been a lot smarter and much quicker to embrace the digital age than the music industry. [side note: what I can't figure out is that many of these companies are the same. Do the different divisions just not talk to each other?]
So with Wal-Mart bringing movie downloads into the mainstream I expect a couple things to happen. First, prices will start dropping, though I'm not sure by how much. Second, one of my first predictions in this area will start coming true: near simultaneous theatrical release and home video release.
It won't be quite there this year, but the time will start shrining. When the media finally reports on it, expect another "I told you so" post from me.