Intel Invests in Online Movie Distribution

Intel Corporation announced on Wednesday that they will invest in a new venture with Revelations Entertainment, an entertainment-development company headed by actor Morgan Freeman and producer Lori McCreary. The deal is based on the formation of a new digital entertainment company called ClickStar, Inc., which will focus on distributing premium movies directly to consumers over the Internet, connecting filmmakers to film fans worldwide.

ClickStar's strategy is to create an online service that consumers can use to access, purchase, and download first-run, pre-DVD-release films and artist-created entertainment channels in their homes. This new online destination will be designed to give filmmakers a vehicle to connect directly with fans and offer consumers a new way of experiencing home entertainment.

"ClickStar addresses the growing worldwide consumer demand for digital content—especially filmed entertainment," Freeman says. "Our goal is to deliver first-run premium entertainment to film fans around the world and to make film easier to buy than to pirate."

Intel President and CEO Paul Otellini agrees, adding, "This is a significant step that will transform the consumer's entertainment experience in the digital home. With Intel's new digital entertainment platforms and ClickStar's exciting new digital entertainment service, consumers will be able to watch first-run films and premium content from the comfort of their living rooms."

ClickStar will be led by former Sony Pictures executive Nizar Allibhoy. The company's strategy is to provide the marketing and distribution expertise required to enable the release of first-run films before they're released on DVD and delivered directly to Intel's digital home entertainment devices. ClickStar is working with top artists, producers, and distribution companies worldwide to build a compelling slate of exciting films that will be available in theaters as well as online. The parties involved with ClickStar share a common belief that consumers want to enjoy digital entertainment and that the best way to address piracy is to deliver compelling and protected entertainment experiences.

Of course, what this means to the DVD business remains to be seen. Consumers like owning and collecting movies; if the ClickStar approach allows full and complete ownership of their content, DVD sales could suffer. But if ClickStar only "rents" its content (say, by disabling playback after a certain period of time), DVDs might yet survive this challenge from new distribution technologies.