April 25, 2006, 12:00 AM

Amazon’s CustomFlix digitizing films for sale by TV networks

Amazon subsidiary CustomFlix Labs is working with major TV networks to digitize program archives and make them available in high-definition DVDs for sale on Amazon.com.

Kurt Peters

Executive Editor

Amazon subsidiary CustomFlix Labs is working with major TV networks to digitize program archives and make them available in high-definition DVDs for sale on Amazon.com, Amazon reports. “This enables content owners to unlock content that had no sales potential,” says Greg Greeley, vice president of worldwide media products for Amazon.

Clients of CustomFlix Labs, which Amazon acquired last year, include NBC Universal, A&E; Home Video and the Public Broadcasting Service, and others will be named shortly, Greeley says

For content providers who use the Media Gateway service to develop 50 or more DVDs, CustomFlix charges no upfront fees but shares in the revenue from sales through the DVD on Demand program on Amazon.com, Greeley says, adding that partners also have the option to sell their DVDs outside of Amazon under a separate fee structure.

Producers with fewer than 50 DVDs pay from $4.95 to $7.95 per unit, Greeley adds.

CustomFlix is offering three high-definition formats: HD-DVD, Blu-Ray and Windows Media Video High Definition DVD. CustomFlix digitizes film with its Future-Proof Archive service, a storage and repurposing platform designed to allow deployment of digitized files in future formats. CustomFlix has teamed up with HDNet to digitize titles for sale on Amazon.

"By supporting all of the high definition formats, CustomFlix enables content providers to take a format-neutral position and simply let customers decide which format they prefer," said Dana LoPiccolo-Giles, co-founder and managing director of CustomFlix.

“Working with CustomFlix and Amazon.com provides new opportunities to reach an audience beyond our broadcasts,” said Andrea Downing, vice president of consumer products for PBS. “DVD on Demand offers a unique opportunity, which meets our need for DVDs today, but promises more opportunities in the future.

The service is currently offering only WMH-HD DVD titles for sale on Amazon, but expects to soon offer Blu-Ray and HD-DVD formats.

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