This weekend saw Epix debut to a potential 2.5 million Verizon FIOS subscribers. Not quite the 17 million Showtime has, but you have to start somewhere. More importantly, Epix is leapfrogging the current model of Pay TV with immediate availability of three delivery mechanisms to your HDTV
- Linear, or the traditional cable channel you are used to watching
- Video-on-Demand (VOD)
- Online streaming or over-the-top (OTT)
To entice you into subscribing, and better yet demand service from you carrier, Epix invites you to sample their web wares for free, for an entire weekend.
EPIXTM, the next generation premium entertainment service from Viacom, Paramount Pictures, Lionsgate and MGM, announced today that for the first time ever, targeted consumers will be offered the opportunity to experience a three-day free online preview of its EpixHD.com service, starting this weekend as it launches on Friday, October 30, 2009. The EpixHD.com free preview weekends will be available on a first come, first serve basis from now through Thanksgiving weekend.
You may be asking, “What will this free weekend cost?” Funny you should ask. After a sneak peek at the VOD this summer, Verizon let all its customers preview the linear channel
Verizon has offered a free preview of Epix on demand since August. The high-definition and standard-definition versions of Epix will be offered to FiOS TV customers for free this weekend.
Well, now the free ride is over
Verizon’s FiOS TV will charge $9.99 per month for Epix, the premium movie service, starting Monday after a free preview weekend.
The FIOS price point for Epix is
- slightly less than the entry premium containing Cinemax
- discounted 50% from the Movie package including Showtime
- less than half the deluxe 14 channel HBO package
This is all from the latest line card as of this writing, that coincidentally does not contain Epix.
If you believe the internet, Dish Networks is ready to jump on the Epix distribution bandwagon and they may offer a different pricing strategy.
Where things get interesting is the Epix Megaplex, the online video library. In his interview with CNBC, Mark Greenberg, Epix President was presented with the facts and asked if the online streaming would become a source of incremental revenue.
The big question: can $9.99 per-month Epix compete with its current limited distribution? Showtime, which is in 17 million U.S. households used to provide $100 million in revenue to Paramount. With such small distribution Epix certainly can’t generate near that kind of revenue for Paramount or its other owners.
Mr. Greenberg certainly sees the online streaming as a core component of the Epix business model and value proposition to carriers. He appeared reluctant to divulge any plans for an online only EpixHD direct to customers. How cool would that be? Certain to appeal to hundreds of early adopters, an all HD OTT offering with premium content would command an infrastructure cost with a much longer payback period than working with established carrier. But keep waiting, it will be there. In the meantime, Happy viewing.
Tags: Cable, Cinemax, Dish Network, Entertainment, Epix, EpixHD, FIOS, HDTV, Internet, Lionsgate, Movies, online, Paramount, Showtime, television, Verizon, Viacom, video, video on demand, VOD, web, web 2.0