The Academy Is Finally Replacing DVD Screeners With Streaming Service
Looks like DVD screeners will soon be going the way of the dodo.
In a move that’s seen as being cost friendly, environmentally conscious, and more secure than shipping out tens of thousands of DVDs for a single title, studios are enthusiastically opting into the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ plans for Oscar voters to stream films rather than receive a physical copy.
In a recent interview with IndieWire, AMPAS president David Rubin affirmed that the Academy will make online screeners available for most eligible films in time for the 2020 awards season. However, DVDs will also likely be provided on an as-needed basis for the next several years.
A film executive told Variety that “All the studios have opted in. We just haven’t gotten all the details yet.”
The same source also mentioned that distributors will be charged $12,500 per film, which in the long run represents a massive cost savings compared to the traditional model. Presently, shipping DVD screeners can run as high as $35 per unit depending on how they’re watermarked and mailed. Mailing out DVDs for one title alone can cost studios over $1 million, since studios may have to send up to 30,000 DVDs to not only to Academy voters, but also to members of the various guilds and critic groups.
“Voters still want their DVDs, but the goal is to get rid of them,” the source said. “The Academy does want the guilds to follow suit.”
Voters can already stream documentaries, animated films, and short films on the Academy’s viewing site. DVDs of foreign language films will still be sent to voters because most don’t have North American distributors to pay the fees.