Soon you'll be able to stream more movies. Sony Corp. (NYSE: SNE ) has struck a deal to bring more than 140 Universal Pictures movies to its Crackle streaming service. There's just one catch: You'll have to bear with ads if you want to watch. Fool contributor Tim Beyers explains the implications in the following video.
Crackle is to Sony what Hulu is to Walt Disney, Twenty-First Century Fox, and Comcast. The difference? Whereas Hulu tends to focus on TV shows, Crackle tends to broadcast Sony Pictures movies and internally produced originals, such as Jerry Seinfeld's Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee.
With the NBCUniversal deal, Crackle expands its streaming footprint. But the expansion isn't without risk, Tim says. Crackle is entirely free and ad-supported, which means if you tune in to watch the Miami Vice or King Kong reboots, or Academy Award-winning biopic Ray, you'll need to bear with ads -- just as you would watching on broadcast TV.
Tim doesn't believe that's a workable strategy. Why? Viewers have become accustomed to uninterrupted, ad-free viewing of long-form streamed content. Netflix and similar pay-TV services have made sure of that.
Now it's your turn to weigh in. Do you expect the NBCUniversal deal to help Crackle and Sony? Please watch the video to get the full story, and then leave a comment to let us know what you think, including whether you would buy, sell, or short Sony stock at current prices.
Will you be among the few to profit when Hollywood's business model falls apart?
Sony's ongoing experiment with Crackle is emblematic of a wider shift in the entertainment business, and three companies you can invest in right now are poised to claim the lion's share of the $2.2 trillion that's up for grabs. Are you bold enough to bet on them? Click here for their names. Hint: They're not Netflix, Google, and Apple.