REDMOND, Wash., Aug. 12, 2004 — Today MSN®
announced three new arrangements to help movie lovers access and view a wide range of their favorite movies over the Internet. MSN has signed agreements with industry leaders Blockbuster Inc., CinemaNow Inc. and MovieTickets.com Inc. that will enable U.S. consumers to rent DVDs, download movies and buy tickets online at the MSN Movies site, http://movies.msn.com/ , with a single click of the mouse. These new relationships complement MSN Movies’ offerings of movie showtimes, tickets, trailers, reviews, and its database of cast and crew information for more than 70,000 titles.
“MSN is rolling out the red carpet to movie fans across the nation with easy access to renting, downloading or buying movie tickets online — making it the only Web destination for finding both old favorites and new releases through a simple click of the mouse,” said Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president of the MSN Information Services & Merchant Platform division at Microsoft.
Movie studios and entertainment providers are making new inroads through technology, and MSN is providing Blockbuster, CinemaNow and MovieTickets.com with a great opportunity to reach millions of MSN customers each month through its home page, as well as through MSN Entertainment.
“We see online rental as a sizeable opportunity and feel that teaming up with MSN to reach its large audience of unique monthly users is one key way BLOCKBUSTER Online (TM) can quickly establish itself in this business,” said Shane Evangelist, Blockbuster vice president and general manager of BLOCKBUSTER Online (TM) .
The introduction of these new services is further evidence of the commitment by MSN to provide the best destination for broadband users and demonstrates the exceptional ability of MSN to deliver a premium online experience through strategic partnerships. Consumers and movie lovers can enjoy these enhanced services:
Door-to-door movies. MSN and Blockbuster have teamed up to bring BLOCKBUSTER Online (TM) , a new online DVD rental service, directly to MSN customers. Visitors to http://movies.msn.com/ can now get unlimited DVD movie rentals, three out at a time, by mail from Blockbuster for one low monthly fee of $19.99.
With the online service, there are no return dates, so MSN users can say “so long” to extended viewing fees, while choosing from more than 25,000 movie titles.
The service also includes two free Blockbuster in-store movie rental coupons per month for those last-minute “gotta have it now” rentals.
Consumers also can choose an option that allows them five DVDs at a time for $29.99 or eight DVDs at a time for just $39.99.
Movies on demand. CinemaNow and MSN have teamed up to enable MSN visitors to download and enjoy movies and television shows on demand. Via a co-branded site at either http://movies.msn.com/ or http://www.cinemanow.com/ , consumers can download the latest pay-per-view movies starting at $3.99 for a 24-hour viewing period. CinemaNow boasts an extensive library of approximately 2,000 films as well as popular TV content from companies such as Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., Disney, Fox, Lions Gate Entertainment and Miramax Film Corp.
For avid movie fans, MSN and CinemaNow will also offer subscription services: Premium and Premium Plus. A Premium subscription entitles a user to a limited set of nonfrontline content (films not in first release) for $9.95 per month or $49.95 per year. A Premium Plus subscriber gets access to the Premium set of content, TV and music content for $29.95 per month or $99.95 per year.
More theaters, more movies. MSN has renewed and expanded its alliance with MovieTickets.com. As a result of the deal, the number of theaters offering tickets to MSN users will increase from 600 to 750, and consumers can purchase tickets directly from 32 theater chains.
“With the growth of broadband access having reached critical mass, we anticipate the popularity of movie downloads to also grow exponentially,” said Bruce David Eisen, executive vice president of CinemaNow. “We’re confident that the MSN Movies site will provide CinemaNow with access to a wide range of movie enthusiasts who are ready and enthusiastic about the future of online entertainment.”
“As the leading online movie ticketing destination, we are pleased to expand our relationship with MSN, offering its consumers more inventory from some of the nation’s most prominent theaters. MovieTickets.com continues to deliver a premium movie ticketing experience for members of our affiliate network, and we look forward to servicing MSN as it continues to provide consumers with end-to-end entertainment,” said Mitch Rubenstein, co-CEO of MovieTickets.com.
MSN attracts more than 350 million unique users worldwide per month. With localized versions available globally in 38 markets and 18 languages, MSN is a world leader in delivering Web services to consumers and online advertising opportunities to businesses worldwide. The most useful and innovative online service today, MSN brings consumers everything they need from the Web to make the most of their time online. MSN is located on the Web at http://www.msn.com/ . MSN worldwide sites are located at http://www.msn.com/worldwide.ashx .
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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