This is what I consider to be a watershed moment in mobile multimedia -- the featuring of full-length video-on-demand movies right over the air to your wireless handset. While I've been skeptical for some time on whether customers really want to enjoy video multimedia over their handset screens, this may be the feature that attracts new customers to the space.
Sprint has decided to make quite a large library of movies from several studios available to Sprint Nextel subscribers. Studios such as Buena Vista VOD, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment and Universal Pictures are contributing to the new service with recent and classic film titles (see below).
The "Sprint Movies" service will be powered by mSpot, which will take control over the entire delivery and display logistics over the Sprint Nextel nationwide wireless network. First up will be a title list of 45 titles, including recent hits such as "National Treasure," "Spider-Man 2" and "Scarface."
What is neat about this just-announced service is that Sprint Movies will feature many of the same conveniences as a DVD player. A movie can be seen in its entirety all at once, or it can be divided into chapters and watched over time. Customers will be able to play, pause and skip forward or backward to different chapters. In what I consider the single biggest selling point, customers will also be able to resume a movie at the exact point where it was last shut down. That is a requirement in my book.
Sprint Movies cost between $3.99 and $5.99 each, and customers will be able to view the movie for unlimited times within a set period, which varies between 24 hours and one week depending on the title. In addition, 24-hour titles include the option of purchasing up to two 24-hour viewing extensions at the rate of $.99. As of now, Sprint Movies is available on select Sprint multimedia handsets and can be watched anywhere while on Sprint's Power Vision network or nationwide Vision network.
To take away parental worry, all titles from Sprint Movies are edited, when necessary, to meet TV-14 standards, and new titles look to be added to the Sprint Movies lineup.
The list of Sprint movies that will be initially available from multiple studios will include:
Herbie: Fully Loaded
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Larry the Cable Guy: Health Inspector
Little Black Book
American Pie 2
Bring it On
End of Days
Fast and Furious
Meet the Parents
National Lampoon's Animal House
The Bone Collector
The Breakfast Club
The Family Man
The Mummy Returns
The Nutty Professor 2
Ready to get your mobile movie game on? Sprint apparently has your number. What will be interesting to watch about this new service will be customer acceptance and recruitment to the service along with if any other national carrier will follow suit and make a mobile movies splash like this soon. Verizon, can you hear me now? How about Cingular?