New Australian VoD service closes deals with US majors

Emerging Video-on-Demand and download-to-own service has sealed licensing deals with all the Hollywood studios and Roadshow ahead of its official launch in August.

The deals cover current films and TV shows and library product from the past five years, according to the online retailer's founder, Access Digital Entertainment CEO Craig White.

The service had a soft launch in May, offering This Is 40 and Gangster Squad. White has not specified the precise date for the official launch, indicating only that it will be in early August. There will be 2,000 titles available at launch. will compete with VoD services such as iTunes, BigPond Movies, Foxtel On-Demand, Quickflix and Fetch TV, none of which offers download-to-own. Also unlike its rivals, the service enables consumers to buy and redeem UltraViolet-enabled titles, which are stored in each user's digital cloud from where they can be downloaded to any connected device and shared with other members of the household.

Among the UV-enabled films on offer are Escape from Planet Earth, Evil Dead, The Host, Mama, Broken City, Great Expectations, ParaNorman, Anna Karenina, Jurassic Park, Django Unchained, Silver Linings Playbook and Stolen.

The service, which won't require contracts or subscription fees, will launch in New Zealand later in August.  "The deals open the door to thousands of the very latest movies and popular TV shows from affordable season passes for episodic TV programs through to the latest big movie titles," said White, a former sales director for 20th Century Fox Australia.

The studio deals will last from one-to-three years and the product range will expand to 10,000 titles over that period.

White also co-founded Elan Media Partners which owns Australia's largest online retailer of home entertainment,, and the global brand