The Digital Media Project



Craig Schultz


TRU #29 of Digital Media Rental





Craig Schultz

Affiliation/additional information:

Multimedia Architectures

Date submitted:







Name of TRU

TRU of digital media rental.


Summary description of TRU

Selling access to digital media on a time limited basis.


Use records of TRU

Originally it was thought that video rental stores would put movie theatres out of business but instead they provided an outlet for movies which would likely never see a theatrical release as well as created an market for the viewing of movies that had finished their theatre schedule.


Nature of TRU

Today, the video rental business brings in about 18 to 20 billion dollars.  Without it the only outlets for post-theatrical releases or titles that never made it to the theatres in the first place would be television and the airlines’ in-flight movie offerings. 

And, considering that slightly less than 50% of movies produced ever make it to the theatre and the airline and television market mainly interested in acquiring what had been successful in the theatres, there would be little chance for the 50% not lucky enough to go the main distribution route.


Benefits of TRU

Users access costs are reduced as they often don’t view a given title more often than a couple of times and they don’t have to store every single title they have ever watched.

Users have access to content from different regions that they wouldn’t have had access to before.

Releases that don’t make it to the theatres have a market.

Retailers and distributors can provide a wider selection of content to a wider base of potential users because there is no need to be concerned about seeking advertisers for a given title or satisfying a limited population segment.


Possible digital support

Being able to enable and disable access based on the time of access.



The ability to base the granting of access on time restrictions or the ability to determine the length of “rental” upon which to base payment.

8. References