In a ground-breaking move, Scandinavia’s film giant Nordisk Film has teamed up with iTunes and the online shop Blockbuster.dk (owned by Danish telco TDC), to make its biggest commercial titles available for online purchase in Denmark in a new exclusive digital window between theatrical and DVD-Blu-ray.

Nordisk Film has inaugurated its first ever ‘Digital Buy’ release yesterday with Mikkel Nørgaard’s The Absent One, last year’s top grossing film that has sold 765,832 cinema tickets since its October Danish cinema release. The film is now available to Danish consumers for purchase on iTunes and Blockbuster.dk for DKK139 before its DVD-Blu-Ray release on January 20.

Adrian Mandrup, Head of Digital Distribution at Nordisk Film, told nordiskfilmogtvfond.com: “To launch a product on the mass market, simplicity is key and we must make our product as attractive as possible to consumers. So with this new ‘Digital Buy’ format, people will be able to watch a film in exclusivity prior to its DVD/Blu-ray release, own it in perpetuity, and we will also create extra bonuses linked to the film.”

“We will release other blockbuster films on this new digital format, but until the window becomes a standard, the number of exclusivity days will vary and we will do what makes most sense for each title in terms of exclusivity days and price point, although retailers control the pricing policy, not us.”

With this innovative consumer-oriented initiative, the Egmont-owned film group – which releases domestically around 40 Scandinavian titles plus 20 US and non-Scandi titles each year – intends to compensate for lost film revenues due to rampant piracy, declining DVD sales – not yet compensated by VOD transactions – and receding middle film consumer appeal. The creation of this new digital window also complies with the new Danish Film Agreement which welcomes industry initiatives to create new business models and sustain the local film industry.  The next blockbuster title that Nordisk Film will release on ‘Digital Buy’ in Denmark is The Hunger Games-Mockingjay Part 1. Similar sell through digital releases will be launched in a ‘couple of months’ in other Nordic territories.

According to the Digital Entertainment Group, overseeing growth in the global digital industry, consumer spending on digital purchases (also known as Electronic Sell-Through) on new titles climbed by 88% in the first nine months of 2014, compared to the same period in 2013.
From the Nordisk Film and TV Fund