CinemaNow, one of the original online movie distributors, has been sold to Roxio parent company Sonic Solutions. The deal gives A/V tech outfit Sonic access to something like 6,000 pieces of premium entertainment content.
The brand will live on as a unit of Sonic. The CinemaNow-Sonic Solutions deal was put at $3 million.
CinemaNow has been around since 1999, but in recent years has been falling back in the pack as movie downloaders have seen their options increase with online operations such as the iTunes Store and Netflix/Blockbuster.
Instead, the CinemaNow movie operation has focused on delivering content via consumer electronics via deals with TiVo, DivX, ARCHOS, Dell, EchoStar Communications, Hewlett-Packard, Macrovision, Microsoft, Samsung and Technicolor.
Sonic Solutions and CinemaNow already partnered for downloading and burning of Sonic’s Qflix DVD drivers. The latest hookup will result in a “Premium Content Group” at Sonic focusing on “increasing the placement of CinemaNow’s storefront on PCs and consumer electronics devices, and expanding the adoption of the Qflix technology platform.”
CinemaNow employees will remain in Marina del Rey, Calif.
Here comes your canned quote from Dave Habiger, president and CEO of Sonic Solutions, downloaded from the press release:
“The digital delivery of premium content is at a tipping point. By providing consumers and OEMs user-friendly content services and software that works across multiple platforms, we will make it possible for any device or PC manufacturer to add an online movie store of Hollywood hits to its products.”
Habiger told investors that in bringing in premium content to go with its output systems, “We’re trying to take a page out of Apple’s playbook.”
CinemaNow says it offers more than 6,000 movies, TV episodes and music videos. Content providers include 20th Century Fox, Disney, EMI, HDNet, IFC, Lionsgate, MGM, Miramax, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Sony, Sundance Channel, Vivendi Entertainment and Warner Bros.
Sonic’s products range from the authoring systems used to produce DVD and Blu-ray titles to the Roxio-branded photo, video, music, and digital-media management applications and services.
One of its products, Toast, has been helping music fans burn MP3 to CDs for a decade.