Danni’s Hard Drive Launches Subscription-TV Offering

Matt O'Conner
MARINA DEL REY, Calif. – High-resolution content from Danni’s Hard Drive is now available in the comfort of your living room.

Under an agreement penned last year with subscription-based Akimbo Systems, the company this week started offering its content, including full-length feature films, live video and interactive chat, directly to television viewers over IP-enabled high-speed connections.

“We already offer branded media through cable systems, and we’ve found that most people feel [TV] is a preferred viewing experience,” Tom Feegle, vice president of Danni’s Hard Drive, told XBiz. “[Offering our content through Akimbo] gives us an opportunity to capture a much broader subscription base and gives us more control over our media distribution and our economics.”

The Akimbo service is available through the Akimbo Player, a set-top box that enables users to download content on demand and store up to 200 hours of video.

Danni’s Hard Drive is currently offering its content as pay-per-view programming that allows Akimbo subscribers to download movies and store them for repeated viewing for up to a month.

Danni's Hard Drive has a large archive of TV-ready content, including thousands of hours of videos, and the company continues to produce new broadcast-quality material almost daily, Feegle said. The company also plans to produce at least six titles per year exclusively for viewing on Akimbo systems, including full-length features in high-definition.

“Whereas most Internet content is delivered at 500 kilobits per second, we’ll be encoding our movies for Akimbo at 4,000 kilobits per second, so it will be an extremely clear and satisfying experience for viewers,” Feegle told XBiz.

The company also plans to launch a subscription channel that gives viewers unlimited access to all of its website content. The monthly fee has not yet been determined, but Feegle said he expects it to be in the $9.95 range.

Feegle said the deal with Akimbo is part of the company’s long-term business strategy to increase distribution channels for its adult programming and open up new partnerships with other content providers.

“We’ve begun to hear from other content providers who don’t have the depth and breadth of our content who are interested in partnering with us because they know viewers will seek out the Danni’s Hard Drive brand,” Feegle told XBiz.

Akimbo is one of a handful of company’s pioneering the concept of delivering video-on-demand Internet content to TV viewers via broadband connections.

Akimbo charges $230 for its Player and $10 per month for its service, plus extra fees for premium or pay-per-view programming.

The service, claimed as “the nation's largest video-on-demand service for television,” will offer more than 20,000 hours of programming in 50 categories to viewers for downloading in the comfort of their living rooms. Broadcast quality is the standard 30-frames-per-second model.

“[Danni’s Hard Drive] is one of the most innovative video services on the Internet,” said Steve Shannon, executive vice president of sales and marketing at Akimbo Systems. “Now Danni's subscribers can enjoy their favorite shows on the TV screen instead of the PC.”

In addition to Danni’s Hard Drive, Akimbo supplies adult content to subscribers through the Naked News, Exotic Playground, Asian Beauties Channel, Adult DVD Empire and Ten channels.

The Akimbo Player connects to any type of broadband Internet connection and is compatible with both wired and wireless home networks. The player also connects to televisions using standard A/V cables.

Akimbo CEO Josh Goldman said the company’s technology doesn't rely on video streaming, peer-to-peer network traffic or upstream bandwidth. He said the downloading process won't tie up bandwidth, and once downloaded, users have complete control over the video as if it were playing from a DVD.