Virgin Media today begins offering "hundreds" of movies on demand, offering a stack of recent and older films to stream for under four quid a pop. The service is delivered over the web using Microsoft's Silverlight technology and will initially present movies in standard definition. VM told Reg Hardware that an HD version of …
No packaging cost, no manufacturing of physical media, and you want to charge *more*than I would pay for a single Blockbuster rental, or the equivalent of *two* rentals per month (with no limit on when you watch them) from LOVEFiLM?
This will go precisely the same way as the music download service they launched, and the media companies will chalk it down to pirates and cheap consumers again instead of their own non-competitive business model.
DOOMED. TO. [Icon]
Pricing is comparable to their existing cable-delivered movies on demand (although maybe 50p per movie more expensive) so I'm guessing they have the data to suggest that this will sell. While blockbuster and LOVEFiLM are undoubtedly cheaper - you have to traipse to the video store to save your quid in the case of the former, and with LOVEFiLM you don't get to specify precisely which movie you want at any one time (and you have to wait for delivery).
People will pay for convenience, especially if VM follow the US Netflix model and also get player software on XBox, PS3, built into televisions etc.
My local blockbuster has been running a '4 films for 4 nights for a tenner' offer for a while now - not sure if this is the same in all stores, but the £2.50 a rental is cheap enough to keep me coming back...
Streaming has it's limitations and from personal experience the quality isn't as good as DVD, it's a pain in the arse to get onto my projector (I have tried various media streamers/solutions on and off for the past 10 years and found them all wanting - including the supposed silent PC options). I am willing to give the boxee box a go if the price point is low enough, but I doubt Virgin Media will have a player on there. If they do stream HD content then I would quickly hit the 'fair use' cap imposed by my ISP.
"If they do stream HD content then I would quickly hit the 'fair use' cap imposed by my ISP."
Yep, me too, and sadly my ISP is Virgin. I guess they are limiting this to SD in order to avoid showing what a shabby service they run.
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