October 24, 2013, 6:00 AM —
Last week we heard that Netflix is considering adding 'bonus content' to some of its original shows. At the time I said I wished that they'd just take the bonus content already found on disk-based movies and put that content online.
Well someone heard my plea, it seems. Sony Pictures is teaming up with streaming video service Vudu to offer Vudu Extras+. Vudu Extras includes many of the same kinds of bonus materials you'd find on disk: featurettes on the cast or how the movie was made, deleted scenes and movie trivia. But it also includes "Clip & Share" that lets you share a clip from the movie with your Facebook and Twitter friends, and "Enhanced Scene Search" which is supposed to let you search dialog as well as searching through other bonus features.
Sony and Vudu are starting small: Vudu Extras+ is only available for the movie District 9 today, and then only on PC and Mac. You can preview what's available at Vudu; there's a good amount of stuff: 5 deleted scenes and 5 featurettes.
Other Sony Pictures Home Entertainment titles scheduled to get the Extras+ treatment before year's end include This is the End, After Earth, White House Down, Grown Ups 2, Mortal Instruments, Smurfs 2 and One Direction – This is Us. Extras+ will be available both for films purchased directly from Vudu and for films unlocked via UltraViolet.
Sony & Vudu promise that support for additional titles and platforms is 'Coming soon' (the Vudu app on the Playstation 3 seems like a likely first stop) and Sony is trying to push these features as an industry standard for digital ownership.
It's a start! Hopefully other studios and services will either sign on or come up with their own ways of offering bonus content; we digital consumers deserve to get all the goodies, too!
Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.