A MAN responsible for pioneering the illegal downloading industry is now working on a start-up venture to end online piracy.
Napster co-founder Sean Parker is working on a new video-on-demand service, which would see the latest blockbuster movies broadcast into homes on the day they’re released theatrically.
Whether its geo-blocking on Netflix or premiering movies in the US before they are released globally, the availability of content is the main reason people turn to illegally downloads.
Known as the Screening Room, the service hopes to address this issue by removing the window in which blockbuster films play exclusively in theatres before hitting other platforms.
The proposed project would see customers paying $150 to install a specialised set-top box, which would give customers the opportunity to view a recent blockbuster once in a 48-hour period for $50.
While the amount seems expensive for an individual, families or groups would likely reap the benefits.
According to Variety, there has been some “serious interest” from several of the major studios, including Universal, Fox and Sony.
The studios are believed to be examining the business model, which would see participating distributors receiving a 20 per cent cut of the $50-per-view proceeds.
Exhibitors would also receive a significant percentage of the revenue.
Not everyone is sold on the concept, with one major studio distribution executive voicing his outrage.
“This news is so damaging, I can’t tell you right now how unhappy I am,” he told Deadline.
Another studio executive warned the concept would “be the beginning of the end, and half of the theatres in this country would close”.