Sonic Solutions Buying CinemaNow

Sonic, the digital media company best known for their Roxio products, not the drive-in food chain, is acquiring CinemaNow. I think that leaves Netflix as the last independent digital movie rental site. Akimbo is gone, Blockbuster bought Movielink. I suppose you could count VUDU, though they’re tied to their own hardware platform – so I don’t. Sonic and CinemaNow have already been working together, with CinemaNow offering download-to-burn content for Qflix DVD drives, via Sonic’s software.

Interestingly, both companies also have relationships with TiVo. TiVo recently added downloadable content from Disney, which is provided through CinemaNow. More CinemaNow content is promised going forward. And, of course, Sonic’s Roxio Creator, Toast, and Popcorn are the only commercial products officially sanctioned for use with TiVoToGo.

Press release:

Nov 19, 2008 16:00 ET

Sonic to Acquire CinemaNow

Acquisition to Serve as Foundation of New Sonic Premium Content Group

NOVATO, Calif., Nov. 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Sonic Solutions® (NASDAQ:SNIC) , the leader in digital media software, today announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire CinemaNow, a privately held online entertainment provider based in Marina Del Rey, California. CinemaNow is at the forefront of digital video distribution, offering over 6,000 high-quality Hollywood movies, TV shows and music videos to users across multiple platforms. The company has relationships with more than 250 content providers, including all major Hollywood studios, and supplies premium entertainment services to a host of PC and consumer electronics device manufacturers such as Dell, HP, Samsung, TiVo, DivX, and ARCHOS.

Sonic® and CinemaNow recently announced a collaboration to enable the download and burn of DVD movies by integrating CinemaNow’s content delivery system into new Qflix™ DVD drives. Qflix drives have recently become available from a number of companies including Dell, Pioneer and Plextor. CinemaNow will combine with Sonic’s Qflix team to form a new Premium Content Group under the direction of Mark Ely, Sonic’s EVP of Strategy. The group will focus on increasing the placement of CinemaNow’s storefront on PCs and consumer electronics devices, and expanding the adoption of the Qflix technology platform.

“With broadband-connected consumer electronics hitting the market in ever greater numbers, there is a growing need for a service that gives consumers one-click access to premium entertainment on any device in the digital home,” said David Cook, president and COO, CinemaNow. “The combination of CinemaNow’s content and embedded device strategy with Sonic’s technical prowess and broad PC and CE distribution promises to fulfill CinemaNow’s original mission — giving consumers easy access to the best of Hollywood from their PCs, TVs, mobile phones, or anywhere in their digital ecosystems.”

“The digital delivery of premium content is at a tipping point,” said Dave Habiger, president and CEO, Sonic Solutions. “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. With CinemaNow, we look forward to expanding and deepening our relationship with OEM and retail partners as well as with the millions of consumers that we touch today through our Roxio®-branded digital media applications and online services.”

As the leading provider of professional software systems used in the creation of Hollywood titles on DVD and Blu-ray Disc, Sonic has deep ties to the entertainment industry. Sonic’s technology solutions and Roxio applications power the management and playback of Hollywood content on PCs and CE devices ranging from set-top DVD players and game consoles, to in-car entertainment systems and portable media players. CinemaNow’s vast content libraries and innovative delivery systems will enable Sonic’s product portfolio and technology expertise to span the entire premium entertainment supply chain — from creation through distribution and consumption.

The acquisition is expected to close shortly.

Conference Call Details

Sonic will conduct an investor conference call at 1:30 p.m. PST, or 4:30 p.m. EST, today to discuss details of the transaction. Investors are invited to listen to Sonic’s conference call on the ‘investor relations – webcast’ section of Sonic’s website at or by dialing 877-591-4959 (for domestic callers) or 719-325-4885 (for international callers). A replay of the web cast will be available shortly after the conclusion of the call. An audio replay of the conference call will also be made available shortly after the conclusion of the call. The audio replay will remain available until midnight PST November 22, 2008, and can be accessed by dialing 888-203-1112 (for domestic callers) or 719-457-0820 (for international callers) and entering the passcode 9174829.

About CinemaNow

CinemaNow, Inc. ( is an innovator in digital entertainment technology, delivering high-quality Hollywood movies, TV shows and music videos to users across multiple platforms. Founded in 1999, CinemaNow has partnered with some of the biggest brands in consumer electronics and digital entertainment including ARCHOS, EchoStar Communications, Hewlett-Packard, Macrovision, Microsoft, Samsung, and Technicolor to deliver thousands of video titles directly to consumers. CinemaNow works with more than 250 licensors including 20th Century Fox, Disney, EMI, HDNet, IFC, Lionsgate, MGM, Miramax, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Sony, Sundance Channel, Vivendi Entertainment and Warner Bros.

About Sonic Solutions

Sonic Solutions (Nasdaq: SNIC; enables the creation, management, and enjoyment of digital media content through its Hollywood to Home™ products, services, and technologies. Sonic’s products range from the advanced authoring systems used to produce Hollywood DVD and Blu-ray Disc titles to the award-winning Roxio-branded photo, video, music, and digital-media management applications and services. Sonic’s patented technologies and AuthorScript® media engine are relied upon by leading technology firms to define rich media experiences on a wide array of consumer electronics, mobile devices, set-top players, retail kiosks, and PCs. Always an innovator, Sonic has taken a leading role in helping professional and consumer markets make the successful transition to the new high-definition media formats and, through the Qflix™ platform, Sonic is defining new models for the digital distribution of Hollywood entertainment. Sonic Solutions is headquartered in Marin County, California.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release and the conference call to discuss the CinemaNow acquisition contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended that are made as of the date of this press release based upon our current expectations. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, regarding our strategy, future operations, financial position, estimated revenue, projected costs, projected savings, prospects, plans, opportunities, and objectives constitute “forward-looking statements.” The words “may,” “will,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “potential” or “continue” and similar types of expressions identify such statements, although not all forward- looking statements contain these identifying words. Such forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to expectations regarding the expected closing date of the CinemaNow acquisition and the distribution and the market acceptance of CinemaNow technologies and services. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results to differ materially from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause such differences include, but are not limited to: risks related to the acquisition and the integration of CinemaNow’s assets, personnel and systems; the negative impact of current macroeconomic conditions on consumers and associated impact on their ability and inclination to spend on leisure and entertainment related activities and related software and electronics; the timely introduction and acceptance of new products and services, including but not limited to the rate of acceptance of Sonic’s Qflix initiative, online services and high-definition products by content owners, original equipment manufacturers and consumers; competing products and services that may, now or in the future, be available to consumers; pricing pressures associated with products or services offered by current or future competitors; Sonic’s ability to maintain sufficient liquidity and continue to fund its capital needs; the costs associated with new product and service introductions and the possible adverse effects on gross margins; fluctuations in demand for Sonic products and services; unforeseen increases in operating expenses; loss of significant customers, major distributors or key suppliers; and risks associated with international operations. Additional discussion of these and other risks, uncertainties and factors affecting Sonic’s business, prospects and future results is contained in the company’s periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Sonic does not undertake to update any forward-looking statements unless otherwise required by law.

Sonic, the Sonic logo, Sonic Solutions, AuthorScript, Hollywood to Home, Qflix, and Roxio are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sonic Solutions in the United States and/or other countries. All other company or product names are trademarks of their respective owners and, in some cases, are used under license.

Source: Sonic Solutions

CONTACT: Chris Taylor of Sonic Solutions, +1-408-367-5231,

Web site:

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  • Dave Zatz

    I believe CinemaNow also provides the Internet VOD to DISH Network boxes.