Thursday, June 24, 2010

Nerd Word of the Week: Day-and-Date

Interior of Cinema 9, Hoyts movie theater, Wes...Image via Wikipedia
Day-and-date (adj.) - A term from the film industry that describes a movie which is released in multiple formats simultaneously, such that movie theaters, home video, television and/or online video can all sell the same film on exactly the same day and date. Day-and-date projects eliminate the so-called release window between the different formats and venues. Naturally, the venues that benefit from a preferential release window -- namely, movie theaters -- don't like the idea of home video or online video cannibalizing their audiences. Others view day-and-date releases as a means of combating movie piracy by offering movies in whatever format fans prefer simultaneously.

I bring it up because: Day-and-date isn't just a film issue anymore, as both Marvel and DC comics have announced digital comic book strategies -- the latter just yesterday -- that include day-and-date releases for certain titles. This has comic retailers in a tizzy, which is why Marvel has priced their digital comics as more expensive than traditional comics, and why DC is diverting some of its digital profits to directly support retailers. The traditional book industry is also struggling with the day-and-date issue as applies to ebooks versus physical books, with fans staging Amazon one-star rating protests for books that don't offer day-and-date ebook versions. Meanwhile, Hollywood has found new ways to create day-and-date release conflicts, with some studios forcing Redbox to delay renting movies by 28 days to prop up DVD sales. Meahwhile, Paramount earned kudos for dropping the 28-day Redbox release window. Some see day-and-date releases as the future of all media. How fast we get there remains to be seen.