Gaga launches premium VOD service
By Stephen Cremin
Thu, 09 August 2012, 23:25 PM (HKT)
The lineup originates from Gaga's own library, including Y tu mama tambien (2001), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004), The Prestige (2006), Babel (2006), Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Drag Me to Hell (2009), Oceans Océans (2009) (2009) and The King's Speech (2010) (2010).
At launch, there are three Asian titles available: FENG Xiaogang 馮小剛's period action-fantasy The Banquet 夜宴 (2006), Andrew LAU 劉偉強's car-racing drama Initial D 頭文字Ｄ (2005) and NINAGAWA Yukio 蜷川幸雄's youth drama Snakes and Earrings 蛇にピアス (2008).
All films are available to rent for a period of 72 hours for ¥420 (US$5.35), discounted to ¥315 (US$4.00) for members. Membership is free and will in future carry other benefits including invitations to movie previews, give-aways of "film-related goodies" and access to special video extras such as cast interviews.
The 41 titles are not exclusive to Gaga Theatre. For example, Snakes and Earrings and The Prestige are currently available on Japan's iTunes store for ¥400 (¥500 in HD) each. However Apple's service only permits a 48-hour viewing period within a 30-day window after purchase.
Gaga hope to use the new service as part of its wider marketing campaigns, encouraging members to promote the films on online social networks including Facebook and Twitter. It believes that direct access to analytics about consumer viewing habits will give insights that can influence future marketing campaigns.
The service functions on both Windows and Macintosh computers but requires that the Flash browser plug-in be installed to handle digital rights management. Dedicated software is available from Google's Play application store for Android devices that include Adobe's no-longer-developed mobile Flash player.
The service is only available to Japanese consumers and requires a live internet connection during playback.
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