Movie distribution on the mobile phone presents different challenges, not all of them an issue of size per se. Sony Pictures Home Entertainment's (SPHE) giant electronics parent, Sony Corp, is a pioneer in producing mobile phone memory chips with pre-recorded feature-length motion pictures. Potential releases include Casino Royale as well as older features like The Natural.
But, says Sean Carey, SPHE's president of digital distribution, the mobile platform opens up possibilities beyond the reapplication of traditional forms.
'It could let users mash-up and interact with the content, cutting it into shorter versions that would be more applicable to mobile,' says Carey. In other words new products are created from archive material.
That said, 'there are all sorts of restrictions with the various guilds associated with making product for means that are other than promotional,' adds Carey. Despite that, phone users are likely to see archive material on their handsets.
Carey says the promotional aspect may lead to 'classic movie moments' appearing as mobile programming. The user could receive a classic line from a catalogue title, followed by the invitation to buy the eDVD.
This kind of bite-size marketing plays into the concept of 'video snacking' which many see as the future of mobile telephony programming. Further into that realm is the video tone, a spin on the ring tone, where a scene - audio and video - from a feature film might be used to alert the user to an incoming phone call.
Such ancillary content remains on the fringes, says Disney's Pat Fitzgerald. 'There isn't a business model yet but consumers seem interested.'