Sony Releases ‘The Interview’ via YouTube, Google Play and Microsoft’s Xbox Video

Soon after Sony Pictures decided to show “The Interview” in some theaters, the company announced that the film will also be available via on-demand services.

Sony made “The Interview” available online on Wednesday, a day before the picture hit a series of certain theraters, after last week’s decision to pull off the film’s release following a massive cyberattack.

The comedy was available for rental on popular video service YouTube as of early Wednesday afternoon. Microsoft Corp and Sony Etertainment itself are also showing the movie, a day before its scheduled premiere at some 320 independent theaters.

“We chose the path of digital distribution first so as to reach as many people as possible on opening day, and we continue to seek other partners and platforms to further expand the release,” Sony Chief Executive Michael Lynton said in a statement.

He went on adding that the filmmaker had first reached out to Google, Microsoft “and other partners” on Dec. 17, the day the studio said it was canceling the movie’s Christmas Day release.

“The Interview” which features Seth Rogen and James Franco reveals a fictional story about the assassination North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

This plot had triggered the most massive cyberattack ever to target a U.S. company, resulting in the release of hundreds of embarrassing emails and confidential data.

Sony announced its decision to cancel the release of “The Interview”.

“Sony has no further release plans for the film,” a Sony spokeswoman said on Wednesday when asked whether the movie would be released later in theaters or as video on demand.

Sony came under immediate criticism for the decision to pull the movie.

“With the Sony collapse, America has lost its first cyberwar. This is a very, very dangerous precedent,” said former Republican House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich in a Twitter post.

In an interview with ABC News on Wednesday, President Barack Obama called the hack against Sony “very serious,” but suggested authorities have yet to find any credibility in the threat of attacks against theaters.

“For now, my recommendation would be that people go to the movies,” Obama said.

American officials announced last week that they had determined that the government of North Korea was linked to the hack that left Sony Entertainment Pictures reeling and eventually prompted it to pull a movie critical of the country’s leader.

However, it’s still unclear about the nature of North Korea’s involvement. The country, while lauding the hack against Sony, has previously denied being behind it.

The U.S. official confirmed that intelligence authorities have indeed determined North Korea was behind the hack, one of the worst cyberattacks ever against an American company.

The New York Times, citing senior Obama Administration officials,reported that intelligence officials had determined North Korea was “centrally involved.”

NBC News, also citing unnamed U.S. officials,reported that the Americans believe the hacking came from outside North Korea itself, but that the hackers were acting on orders from Pyongyang.

“The hack exposed reams of company data, including employees’ emails and salaries,” Sony reported at the time.

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