The notorious Kim Kardashian/Ray J celebrity sex video is about to make online history. On Feb. 28, All Adult Channel will premiere Vivid Entertainment's Kim Kardashian Superstar as an exclusive download-to-burn purchase at www.alladultchannel.com/kimk.
"This is the first time that any adult title has been made available for instant download-to-burn on the same day and date as the DVD release," All Adult Channel's director of marketing and merchandising Lawrence Novitch said in an exclusive interview with AVN. "It's a landmark moment, and we're tremendously excited to be part of it. Adult download-to-burn sales have been doing well, all things considered, but Kim Kardashian Superstar is by far the most high-profile release ever to premiere in this format. It's going to be an explosive event."
All Adult Channel's download-to-burn service uses exclusively-licensed software called FluxDVD, which compresses and then decompresses the digital video signal while the file downloads. This process translates to a markedly faster download time.
"Our burn process is very unique," Novitch said. "On other sites, it might take eight to fifteen hours to download the whole file. The difference here is that with a fast connection, you get an exact replica of the DVD in less than two hours. Once you download that [FluxDVD] software you can immediately buy the title, and it will automatically download and burn simultaneously. That's the beauty of this program."
Through its partnership with All Adult Channel, Vivid began offering download-to-burn adult movies in May 2006. The service represents a significant step in bridging the gap between the PC and television, allowing consumers to burn movies to DVD from downloadable internet files. While Hollywood has been reluctant to embrace the technology for fear of hurting DVD sales, major studios including MGM, Sony and Universal have since followed Vivid into the download-to-burn market.
"We have a great relationship with the people at All Adult Channel and its parent company Cinema Now, and they are the ones who initially licensed the technology," Vivid co-chairman Steven Hirsch told AVN. "The Hollywood studios weren't comfortable with the burn solution, at least initially; we always look at new technologies and want to be the first guys out there giving it a chance. We jumped on [download-to-burn] pretty quick, and subsequently, the Hollywood studios have come around and are starting to give them more movies."
The Fast and the Furious: Toyko Drift became the first mainstream day-and-date release for DVD and download-to-burn via Cinema Now's service. "The Fast and Furious day-and-date was a huge hurdle," Hirsch said. "With the Kim video, we want to emphasize that the price is the same for download-to-burn as it is for retail DVD. All Adult Channel is not undercutting the suggested retail price of $39.95."
"Until the DVD is no longer needed and you have Internet Protocol Television (IPTV), the perfect solution is what we have right now," Novitch told AVN. "Basically, you can download the movie, burn it to DVD, walk over to your television and watch it."
All Adult Channel currently offers 278 hardcore movies for download-to-burn purchase, including titles from Vivid, Red Light District, Elegant Angel and New Sensations. Vivid's Ancient Secrets of the Kama Sutra has scored the highest number of downloads to date, though sales for the nascent medium remain modest.
"I think it takes time with a new technology for people to become comfortable with it and use it on a regular basis," Vivid co-chairman Steven Hirsch told AVN. "It'll be interesting to see what happens with the Kim Kardashian title. We look forward to this day and date test, but we want to make it clear they will not be undercutting the suggested retail price."
According to Vivid's national sales manager Howard Levine, a staggering 800,000 internet users have opted in to view a Kim Kardashian Superstar trailer since the company launched its site www.kimksuperstar.com on Feb. 7. The site is currently ranked by Alexa.com at 4,528.
"This is unbelievably huge," Levine told AVN. "Nobody will be disappointed by this video; they're going to watch it over and over again. Unlike the Paris Hilton tape, this one is crystal-clear and really well lit – and the sex is off the hook."
With the release of Kim Kardashian Superstar less than two weeks away, the question is: how will download-to-burn revenues compare to standard DVD sales?
"That's an excellent question, and we're going to be looking at it closely," Novitch replied. "As people get more inclined toward looking at clips on the internet, my feeling is that it's just going to blow up."
Look for more exclusive AVN.com coverage of this story in the days ahead.