Blockbuster – I’m not moving anywhere to rent my movies…

19 07 2006

Well if you’ve read some of the tech news today, you may have seen that Apple Itunes announced that it will be offering download-able rental movies. The structure will be that you can probably purchase a movie from the iTunes store and it will terminate automatically after a certain number of views/time period. The question, that everyone asked themselves today was obvious – are you going to do it?

I think it’s very interesting to see how technology really does one thing in our lives. It makes us significantly lazier. I wouldn’t consider the drive thru, “technology” but I always found it hilarious that we’ve become a society that needs to not get outside in the open world in order to purchase a meal. Being an Industrial Engineer, however, I’m not going to complain when there are ways to optimize a process.

As an avid movie watcher, I definitely make it out to the movie theaters a decent number of times. It’s true, I enjoy watching movies on my laptop by myself but the experience of watching a movie like LOTR or Star Wars or even Superman returns in a theater cannot be replicated by a 14.1″ XVGA screen. I do, however, enjoy being economical, and because of that – I feel many times to watch movies on my computer – sometimes downloaded through random sites. When it comes to actually renting a movie, I feel like I may actually give in and do it – but this is contingent on a couple of things:

  • Pricing Structure – If there exists a tiered pricing stucture based on number of views/days viewed/etc, I feel like I would definitely have much more of an incentive than if there were a single flat fee which would exceed 3-4 dollars.
  • Fraud – I assume that Apple has thought this through – but there are so many programs out there that can record everything that comes on your screen and through your sound card. Piracy, I feel, could go through the roof with something like this.
  • Speed – unless you have a high bandwith Internet connection (which most of us do), this thing would take days to download. I’m sure apple will have a protected media format to ensure that people don’t burn these – but I don’t know.

Things to consider for the future – who else would enter the market? I read somewhere today that people feel like Google should enter this niche. I’m sure they’ve already thought about it but they could buy a medium sized studio and start offering movies off of their relatively slow growing “google Video” platform. What about companies like YouTube that offer free videos to everyone, regardless of copyright issues. In my opinion, this is a huge step for media and Internet and as we move forward, we’ll see how our entertainment systems will begin to start becoming one huge system.

So now the question is for everyone reading this…would you actually buy it? If you would, how much would you buy it for?






4 responses

19 07 2006
Chris Cuellar

$2….no more

20 07 2006

The price would have to be cheaper than or equal to Blockbuster…I feel like they might want to consider a monthly fee, similar to Netflix…the only problem with this is that unless you hook up your computer to your TV, the max screen size you will watch it on is whatever your monitor is…some people won’t buy that…

We shall see…

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