Warner looks to take digital distribution of entertainment in Europe to the next level

MUMBAI: Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group has announced the formation of a joint venture with arvato mobile in Europe called In2Movies

This is a digital download platform for the electronic sell-through of motion picture and television content in Germany, Austria and German-speaking Switzerland. In2Movies will leverage the speed and flexibility of a Peer-to-Peer (P2P) network and the security and quality of a centralized service to provide consumers with the ultimate legal entertainment downloading experience.

In2Movies will be the first P2P-based download-to-own platform to offer consumers legitimate content day-and-date with the German language DVD release. With the initial rollout, consumers will be able to download movies and television shows to their personal computers. The second version of the service will expand on consumers' download options and enable them to download programs to DVD recorders and other portable devices.

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment Group president Kevin Tsujihara says, "Through this partnership with arvato mobile, Warner Bros will be breaking new ground in legal digital delivery, providing a rich experience at affordable prices. One of the most effective weapons for defeating online piracy is providing legal, easy to use alternatives. Warner Bros. continues its role as an industry leader by expanding the reach of its digital content through this extremely innovative platform. Our initial efforts will focus on the German market but in the months ahead we will leverage this technology to better serve markets around the world."

In2Movies will launch next month and will initially feature more than 80 Warner Bros. new releases, catalogue favourites and local productions. The movies and television series offered on a non-exclusive basis will include Batman Begins, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Must Love Dogs, The O.C., Friends and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. In2Movies will also feature entertainment programming from local distributors and third-party content providers. Consumers will be able to download programming directly from the In2Movies website, or via a click-through from other websites and also from retail partner websites powered by In2Movies.

arvato mobile CEO Bernhard Ribbrock says, "With In2Movies, consumers can download films or TV shows with guaranteed speed, efficiency and quality through our proprietary technology. Consumers are seeking new channels for finding authourised entertainment and this relationship signifies arvato's entry into the motion picture download business; we would not have done so without a great partnership with the industry's leading innovator, Warner Home Video."

In Germany during the first half of 2005, 1.7 million Internet users illegally downloaded a total of 11.9 million movies. Research has shown that 20 per cent of illegal downloaders do so on a weekly basis. However, 73 per cent of all illegal downloaders in Germany are interested in utilising a paid for movie download service. In2Movies will offer consumers exactly that legal option and will provide a high quality and reliable service.

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