Sony signs Swedish VOD deal with Voddler

Follows similar deals with Paramount, Walt Disney

BERLIN -- Sony Pictures Television has signed its first VOD deal in Scandinavia, inking with online service Voddler to make titles such as "2012," "Julia & Julia" and "Spider-Man 2" available on-demand to Voddler subscribers.

The Sony agreement follows similar deals between Voddler and Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney last year.

"Extending the reach of our movies and TV content across multiple platforms is the cornerstone of our distribution strategy, especially in key territories such as the Scandinavian countries," said Stuart Baxter, senior executive vp of European distribution at Sony Pictures Television, adding that the Nordic countries were particularly interesting as "the uptake of digital content is particularly high, outpacing consumption patterns across the rest of Europe."

Voddler launched its online movie service late last year and quickly attracted tens of thousands of registered subscribers. The company streams films and TV series in high quality over the Internet. The films are either shown free-of-charge with advertising attached or on a pay-per-view basis.

Voddler has been dubbed "Spotify for movies," referring to the much-hyped Swedish-based service which distributes music digitally and for free.

In an unrelated move, Spotify this week said it would soon be offering its digital music service in the Netherlands. Spotify's global head of licensing, Niklas Ivarsson said the Dutch market was "at the top of our list" for new territorial expansion in 2010. Spotify is currently available in Scandinavia, France, Spain and the U.K. The company has also announced plans to launch the service in the U.S. and Germany later this year.