LOS ANGELES (AP) — Sony is hoping that providing sharable movie clips and extras like deleted scenes will prompt more people to buy digital movies. At least that's the intention behind a new initiative it's calling Vudu Extras+.
The initiative gives people who buy movies on Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s online video service Vudu the ability to share dozens of clips or pieces of behind-the-scenes footage on Facebook and Twitter. In each case, a link takes users to a website with the clip embedded.
For its first movie under the system, "District 9," Sony makes available 17 movie clips, five deleted scenes and five snippets of a "filmmaker's log" available for sharing. Some of the shared content is reserved for others who also buy the movie for at least $9.99. A search feature also allows movie buyers to jump to certain scenes after searching keywords in dialogue.
The innovation comes at a time when U.S. home entertainment spending is recovering from falling DVD sales. While standard-definition DVD sales continue to drop, high-definition Blu-ray disc sales are increasingly taking up the slack.
When adding digital forms of revenue, including from streaming services like Netflix, U.S. spending on home movies in the first half of the year rose 2 percent to $8.6 billion, according to The Digital Entertainment Group, a consortium made up of Hollywood studios and consumer electronics manufacturers.
Of that, revenue from the purchase of digital movies was still a relatively small $491 million, although that's up 50 percent from a year ago.
James Underwood, an executive vice president of strategy for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, said the studio has long seen that making extras available is "one of the motivating factors for purchasing a film."
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