The Costa Mesa, Calif.-based company said its service offers people the option of watching full-length flicks in a streaming or downloadable format via a high-speed Internet connection. Until now, Kanakaris' content has been available only in a streaming format.
People can access the films with their PCs on a pay-per-view basis for either $1.99 or $2.99, which gives consumers unlimited access to the film for two days. Consumers can also choose to pay a membership fee of $4.95 a month for access to more than 100 films.
Although Kanakaris is striving to transform the way people watch films, it enters a crowded field marked by competitive players. Lions Gate Entertainment-backed CinemaNow and Intertainer this weekseparately that they have tapped MGM Home Entertainment to showcase popular MGM films. In addition, Intertainer last year rights to Universal Studios' pay-per-view films.
Forming ties with major studios and licensing their content has been a major obstacle for video-on-demand providers. And the service has yet to become a blockbuster hit among consumers. Analysts said the key ingredients for success are the quality of movies and the technology.
"It's still unproven that people are...interested in paying for a video-on-demand service delivered to their PCs," said Jupiter Research analyst Joe Laszlo. Video-on-demand services "could well replace going to Blockbuster, which VOD wants to be. But I don't think it's quite there in the eyes of consumers right now...(and) I don't think there's been a clear kind of gold-medal winner in the VOD space yet."
Still, Kanakaris is aiming to get a foothold in the market. Last year, the company AK.TV, a Web-based TV station accessible by wireless devices such as Microsoft's Pocket PC operating system. People can access TV programming--mostly Grade B movies and IKEA infomercials--through AK.TV.