tech - hawg
Sunday, August 20, 2006
  Why no one uses legit video downloading services
If you've ever tried to use one of these services, you probably know why. None of them are anywhere near easy to use? For the past few generations of movie watching, consumers have been used to the pay once, use anywhere model. With that model, after the consumer pays once for their movie, they are then able to use it how they see fit or however they can. With these new services, Movielink and Cinemanow in particular, things are not as easy as they should be. The first clue that something is wrong or that there is some area for improvement? The fact that these two sites both have "How we work" type sections that apparently need to be prominately displayed on each sites first few pages. Seriously, if so many people were asking questions on how to use the site or why can't I do this or that with the movie I downloaded, something needs to change. Now, granted, the main reason for this is probably the studios themselves. I'm sure that they are positive that making these movies easy to buy and download will just encourage more piracy. I mean, if it's really easy to buy and download a movie, the people who do so will download and buy the movies and then not tell their friends where they got them, preferring to give the content they paid for to all their friends for free. Right? Wrong!

Honestly, what someone needs to do is think of the larger picture here. The web and all of it's users do not comprise of only pro-pirate-bay-ers and people who endorse piracy. The majority of people like to keep their movie purchases to themselves. Sure, they may let a friend or two borrow a movie once in a while, but they're not telling the whole world whenever they do so. Illegal markets are going to exist, and no number of roadblocks are going to stop that. Now is the perfect time for someone to build a site in which buying and downloading movies are as easy as going to Blockbuster, Hollywood video or WalMart.

What I envision in the perfect on-line movie purchasing site is the ability to purchase a movie the day it's released. I still go to the theaters for my geek flicks which are usually best enjoyed with the right crowd (or the right screen ie IMAX), but I also want to be able to take more chances on flicks. For every movie that comes out, I have to plan for a babysitter, make sure I have enough disposable cash and make sure nobody's schedule clashes. If I had the ability to download a movie the day it came out, I could see more movies more often. Ensuring that I keep up with pop culture. I want to be able to download the movie in two formats, dvd-quality resolution or HD resolution. I want to be able to either rent a download (a download which lasts 3-5 days, for new releases for example) or to download and keep the movie. I also want to be able to do with it whatever I want to without having to hack it because honestly, if I want to watch my movie on multiple devices or if I wanted to burn it, I have ways of figuring this stuff out (Google) so why make it harder for me to use the content I just bought?

Really, a site with those basic features right there would be huge. The amount of buzz it would generate in the industry for being so different and easy to use would get the early adapters who would push it past the tipping point and into the mainstream. Is anyone out there doing to do this? I hear Apple and Amazon are getting into the movie download market so there is hope I guess, from Apple mostly.

What someone should do is just build this site, disrupt the whole industry and get things moving. Hmmm... I wonder who?

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