New media format: USB drives
Feature length films will be coming to USB “thumb drives” late 2009 from a joint effort by Sonic Solutions and Widevine. Entitled CinemaNow USB Movie Drives, they feature an integrated media player to play the included movie direct from the drive on a PC. When online, the user can connect to their Roxio CinemaNow account to add the title to their library to share up to four other networked devices such as portable media devices, Blu-ray Disc players and televisions. Each device will receive an optimized file for that specific device capabilities.
Widevine is providing a Hollywood-approved DRM and video optimization for the drives, while Sonic is providing the software and hardware. Sonic is also partnering with 250 content providers, including all major Hollywood studios and independent distributors.
The intent is to sell these drives through retail to keep brick and mortar stores in the loop while providing flexible viewing options. I imagine this should appeal to the consumer who likes the idea of streaming video, but the inconvenience of going to Best Buy to buy the product. However it does solve the desire to possess a real copy of the movie.