Microsoft has partnered with Amazon to bring HD DVD support to the latter’s CustomFlix DVD on Demand program. This is designed to lower the barriers for independent film makers looking to release their creations on HD media. I’m a Blu-ray pusher myself, but credit where credit is due, this seems like a nice program. (If the Blu-ray camp is smart they’ll scramble to help Amazon add BD as an option too, IMHO.)
The press release:
Jul 2, 2007 03:01 ET RSS
Amazon.com and Microsoft Team Up to Help Indie Filmmakers Jump Into HD DVD
Up to 1,000 new indie titles to be made available in HD DVD through the CustomFlix DVD on Demand Program; Sundance Channel original series, ‘Big Ideas for a Small Planet,’ to be among first HD television offerings on Amazon.com.
SEATTLE and REDMOND, Wash., July 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) , and Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) today announced the 1,000 HD DVD Indies Project, designed to lower the barriers to entry for filmmakers to produce and distribute movies in the HD DVD format through the innovative manufacturing-on-demand technology of CustomFlix, a part of an Amazon group of companies. Jointly sponsored by Amazon and Microsoft, the project will provide free authoring and setup services for up to 1,000 selected indie titles.
“This collaboration with Microsoft is a great opportunity for independent filmmakers to reach Amazon customers with their films via the HD DVD format,” said Peter Faricy, vice president of music and movies at Amazon.com. “By working together with Microsoft and leveraging the proven CustomFlix DVD on Demand model, we can lower the barriers to entry for independent filmmakers and dramatically increase the selection we offer our customers.”
The project will be spearheaded by CustomFlix, which will bring as many as 1,000 feature-length independent films to Amazon customers using the CustomFlix DVD on Demand technology, which produces and ships DVDs only as they are ordered. This model greatly improves the cost structure for independent filmmakers by eliminating the need for costly inventory.
“From a technical standpoint, we found that the HD DVD format fits our business model perfectly,” said Dana LoPiccolo-Giles, co-founder and managing director of CustomFlix. “With retail shelf space at a premium, our model eliminates the risk of carrying inventory and immediately expands the number of great HD DVD titles available to consumers.”
“Programs like this one from Amazon lower barriers to entry for independent artists and provide audiences with increased access to high-quality, high-definition content,” said Christian Vesper, senior vice president of programming, acquisitions and scheduling for Sundance Channel.
Sundance Channel will be reviewing the high-definition features for potential broadcast on the network as well as making its own HD original eco-series, “Big Ideas for a Small Planet,” available for purchase through Amazon’s HD DVD program.
“Amazon’s participation in this project will be a major benefit to independent filmmakers wanting to break into the high-definition market segment,” said Amir Majidimehr, corporate vice president for the Consumer Media Technology Group at Microsoft. “The use of Microsoft(R) technology and authoring expertise will ensure that all the HD DVD titles offered by Amazon have impeccable quality, thanks to the VC-1 codec and innovative interactive scenarios with HDi(TM).”
Amazon.com offers a broad and growing selection of HD televisions, players and DVDs through its HD DVD store at http://www.amazon.com/hddvd. Filmmakers interested in submitting their HD DVD work for consideration as part of the 1,000 HD DVD Indies Project can go to http://www.customflix.com/hddvdindies.
Amazon.com, Inc., (NASDAQ:AMZN) , a Fortune 500 company based in Seattle, opened on the World Wide Web in July 1995 and today offers Earth’s Biggest Selection. Amazon.com, Inc. seeks to be Earth’s most customer-centric company, where customers can find and discover anything they might want to buy online, and endeavors to offer its customers the lowest possible prices. Amazon.com and other sellers offer millions of unique new, refurbished and used items in categories such as health and personal care, jewelry and watches, gourmet food, sports and outdoors, apparel and accessories, books, music, DVDs, electronics and office, toys and baby, and home and garden.
Amazon and its affiliates operate websites, including www.amazon.com, www.amazon.co.uk, www.amazon.de, www.amazon.co.jp, www.amazon.fr, www.amazon.ca, and www.joyo.com.
CustomFlix, a member of the Amazon.com group of companies, is the leader in manufacture on demand services for independent and enterprise media content owners. CustomFlix was founded in 2002 with the mission of profitably connecting content owners to a worldwide audience. Today, CustomFlix offers professional digitization into the Future-Proof Archive service, as well as inventory-free physical media distribution via both CD and DVD on Demand and video downloads through Amazon Unbox.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
As used herein, “Amazon.com,” “we,” “our” and similar terms include Amazon.com Inc., and its subsidiaries, unless the context indicates otherwise.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Actual results may differ significantly from management’s expectations. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties that include, among others, risks related to competition, management of growth, new products, services and technologies, potential fluctuations in operating results, international expansion, outcomes of legal proceedings and claims, fulfillment center optimization, seasonality, commercial agreements, acquisitions and strategic transactions, foreign exchange rates, system interruption, significant amount of indebtedness, inventory, government regulation and taxation, payments and fraud. More information about factors that potentially could affect Amazon.com’s financial results is included in Amazon.com’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2006, and all subsequent filings.
Photo: NewsCom: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO
AP Archive: http://photoarchive.ap.org/
PRN Photo Desk firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Microsoft Corp.
CONTACT: Dane Estes of Weber Shandwick, +1-425-452-5400,
email@example.com, for Microsoft Corp.; or Amazon.com Media
Relations, +1-206-266-7180; or Stacey Hurwitz, +1-831-430-4026,
firstname.lastname@example.org, for CustomFlix
Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/
NOTE TO EDITORS: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/contactpr.mspx.