21st July 2011
It's setting up the fast-growing operating system as a media platform to rival Apple's digital dominance.
Buyers of Fox's high-definition Blu-ray discs from October will be able to download an Android-compatible digital copy of the movie from its website using their computer. This can then be "side loaded" onto an Android phone, says the Financial Times (paywall).
According to Fox, this is the first service of its kind, and will be made available in the US, UK, France and Germany.
Until now, digital downloads of its movies have only been available for Windows and Apple iTunes, the dominant PC and smartphone platforms. Recent months have seen Google itself launch a digital movie rentals service for Android in the US, while Netflix, the streaming service, launched an app for some Android phones in May.
"Given its strong growth as a mobile operating system, the support for Android is an important move for us because it further enhances Blu-ray discs as the best way to get your movies to all your screens," said Vincent Marcais, senior vice-president for marketing at Twentieth Century Fox International Home Entertainment.
"The starting point for us is that people like to own a movie," Mr Marcais said. "We need a business model that satisfies that need and Blu-ray is the business model that satisfies that." He described streaming services that allow online rental without a permanent download such as Lovefilm and Netflix as "good complements" to ownership.
To receive our free email newsletter sign up here.