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Movies Media

MovieLink 2004's Top Film Download Service, So Far 147

An anonymous reader writes "The NPD Group has released some research on the fledgling pay digital movie download services. Numbers for the first half of this year show MovieLink as number one with a third of total users followed by MovieFlix with 13% of the market. It's a very small market though, with purchases equalling only 0.3% of the total movie market (and nowhere near the numbers of those trading on the free P2P services). Also of note, 80% of users are male and the top films purchased are sci-fi and fantasy."
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MovieLink 2004's Top Film Download Service, So Far

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  • Also of note, 80% of users are male What about the 20% left, does it include dolphin and whales ?
    • Either way, we can thank our lucky stars for one thing: We now know that most users of MovieLink have penises. I'm SO glad we managed to work that out, also that companies are concerned with what's in my pants.
  • Back to P2P (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Xenna ( 37238 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @03:07AM (#10360348)
    Movielink is not catering to Europeans.
    MovieFlix doesn't seem to have any decent movies anywhere.

    Back to mlDonkey and Bittorrent...

    X.
    • Re:Back to P2P (Score:5, Interesting)

      by chazwurth ( 664949 ) <cdstuartNO@SPAMumich.edu> on Monday September 27, 2004 @03:09AM (#10360361)
      It is also apparently not catering to Linux or MacOS users, which is a shame, because I'd be willing to pay what they seem to be charging, at least on occasion.
      • Re:Back to P2P (Score:5, Interesting)

        by krymsin01 ( 700838 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @04:23AM (#10360600) Homepage Journal
        I wouldn't. Even at around US $2.00 I'm not willing to pay for something that I only have a "24hr Viewing period" for. Sure, whatever their protection mechanism is could be defeated and I could get a copy of the movie to watch indefinately (think wargames playing 24hrs a day), but I could have just as easily gone to alt.binaries.movies.* or a bittorrent tracker site and just downloaded the same movie.
        • Re:Back to P2P (Score:5, Insightful)

          by tarunthegreat2 ( 761545 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @05:16AM (#10360741)
          Here here! The least the fsckwads can do is extend the viewing period. If you happen to be in a timezone ahead of the USA (Asia), you can NEVER watch a movie, becuase the movie is timestamped with yesterday@!#!@$!$@. Adn this is going to stop piracy (a lot fo which originates here in Asia) HOW?
        • Ford wants 10,000 for a new car. That is too much. I am entitled to a new car on my terms. Not only will I steal one off the lot, but I will be self-righteous about it. How dare they charge that much for their cars. Now s/car/movie/g, and you see how stupid your argument. If you don't like the price, don't buy it. Not liking the price does not make stealing ok.
    • by kcb93x ( 562075 ) <{kcbnac} {at} {bnac.biz}> on Monday September 27, 2004 @03:10AM (#10360366) Homepage
      ...hence the following message upon visiting their site with Firefox 1.0PR:

      "Sorry, but in order to enjoy the Movielink service you must use Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher, which supports certain technologies we utilize for downloading movies. Click here to get the latest version of Internet Explorer.

      We do not anticipate supporting Mozilla or Netscape in the near future."

      No thanks, I'll take my movies non-DRM'd to death, thank you.

      *follows X back to Shareaza and Bittorrent*
      • by evilviper ( 135110 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @03:57AM (#10360534) Journal
        I'll take my movies non-DRM'd to death, thank you.

        So you don't have any DVDs at all, huh?
        • more like "no intrusive DRM"

          Like music on iTMS, as long as it doesn't get in the way of what most people want to do (in this case, watch a film they've bought when they want to), then DRM is the necessary eveil that allows it to be sold at all.

          Provided your use of DVD content is not simply to rip it to computer (whether or not you intend to post it as a torrent), then the DRM doesn't get in the way.
          • Like music on iTMS, as long as it doesn't get in the way of what most people want to do

            Umm... I've heard hundreds of complaints from people that iTunes DRM is a huge hassle. Doesn't allow you to use it on multiple computers unless you jump through massive hoops, repeatedly.

            Provided your use of DVD content is not simply to rip it to computer (whether or not you intend to post it as a torrent), then the DRM doesn't get in the way.

            No, you're not even close.

            The DRM gets in the way all the time... Unless

        • I know I don't have any DVDs. Hurrah for Laserdisc (except the blasted shipping charges ...)
      • Then i dont anticipate suporting them.
    • Re:Back to P2P (Score:3, Informative)

      by Celt ( 125318 )
      You got that right!

      "Thanks for your interest in Movielink, the leading source for movies delivered directly over the internet. We want you to enjoy our powerful movie download experience, but it is presently unavailable to users outside of the United States"

      What a extremely helpfull site, can't even browse the bloody thing!
      And the above is when I tried to access movielink.com directly
      • I don't get this. A message saying that but something like "if you want to have a look around, though, click here" would be good.

        They are potentially losing business. Where's the email address input so they can capture potential customers from outside the US now?

        • At the very least they should allow non-US customers to atleast browse the site even if they can't use the services, its a very stupid policy

          Incidently anyone using AOL anywhere around the world can access it because they'd have a US IP
          But then again why would you want to use the service? :)
    • Re:Back to P2P (Score:5, Informative)

      by ImaLamer ( 260199 ) <john...lamar@@@gmail...com> on Monday September 27, 2004 @04:13AM (#10360571) Homepage Journal
      I assumed that mlDonkey version you speak of is for Linux, but if not here goes:

      Try Starz! on Demand [starzondemand.com], it's a subscription based service that lets you download hundreds of movies a month. Basically every movie shown on Starz is available for download. Plus you can watch Starz.

      Bad thing: It uses Helix, RealPlayer's DRM technology and last time I checked wasn't available for Linux (hmmm... I wonder why). Requires substantial bandwidth. Can't keep the movies, they expire after 2 weeks.

      Good thing: It's a good service, good movies and good quality too, at about 500 MB per movie. Good for someone like me who doesn't want to pay for cable or satellite, but will pay for a nice movies.

      I used the trial and stuck with it because it allowed me to watch a movie a day, when I wanted to.

      • How much is it? The site appears to be reluctant to tell me, like so many other bloody sites now. They all want me to sign up for a free subscription or enter my zip code/email address before they'll let me see.
        • Ooops, I believe the service is about $14/month.

          Pretty good deal compared to the others because you can easily watch more than 14 movies in a month.

          In my first few days I watched about 5 or 6 movies.

      • I just looked at their site and can't see anything about downloading movies. It seems to require a cable subscription and implies that the movies are sent over cable, the way regular TV is. Am I missing something?
  • by zapf ( 119998 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @03:08AM (#10360353)
    Looks like I won't be switching to Movelink soon. BitTorrent doesn't have the same nasty requirement.
    Sorry, but in order to enjoy the Movielink service you must use Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher, which supports certain technologies we utilize for downloading movies. Click here to get the latest version of Internet Explorer.


    We do not anticipate supporting Mozilla or Netscape in the near future.
    They're probably trying to install Gator onto my machine anyways...
  • by Doppler00 ( 534739 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @03:09AM (#10360357) Homepage Journal
    In general, I find that online renting of movies still lacking. They charge you more per download than if you were to go to a store to rent it. Second the view period is usually only 24 hours. And if these two factors are not enough to turn you away from a pay to rent service, the video quality is severly lacking compared to the DVD version (I have a 3mbps internet connection, a 2GB version of a movie shouldn't be a problem).

    There are also the questions of compatibility. Do you need special software for Windows? Will it play on a Mac, Linux? Probably not. I think this sums of the situation quite nicely:

    Sorry, but in order to enjoy the Movielink service you must use Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher, which supports certain technologies we utilize for downloading movies. Click here to get the latest version of Internet Explorer.

    They are probably using some weird activeX components to launch a movie playing applicaiton.
    • And anyone with a clue knows that it's going to be very profitable without Blockbuster or someone else being in the equation.

      I had cable, and they were constantly plugging their pay-per-view (that is, view it right now only) and it cost a shade less than the video rental which I could watch anytime in about a 24 hour period (and non-top titles, can often rent for 48 hours).

    • by NanoGator ( 522640 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @04:34AM (#10360636) Homepage Journal
      " They charge you more per download than if you were to go to a store to rent it."

      Yes. And though that sucks, you're still not spending 20 minutes or so getting the movie and returning it.

      " Second the view period is usually only 24 hours."

      Yes, but it's also 'on demand'. >24 hours makes more sense when you have store hours and your own schedule to worry about.

      "Will it play on a Mac, Linux? Probably not. I think this sums of the situation quite nicely:"

      You caaaaaan't alwaaaaaaaaaays haaaaaaaaaaaave what you waaaaaaaaaant. Seriously, though, have you ever tried to serve video over the web? It's not so easy to support everybody under the sun. Let's not forget that they feel they need to lock up everything. Granted, we all have issues with that, but they're the ones making it available in the end. Frankly, I think it sucks when a company makes a game I want for the Playstation but not the GameCube I have. Can I really complain about it, though? They have to make money. (Damn I wanna play San Andreas.)

      "They are probably using some weird activeX components to launch a movie playing applicaiton."

      I'm not claiming I know how their service works, afterall I'm not a customer, but I can make a few guesses:

      1.) They need some sort of auto install capability.

      2.) If they're using WMP, it's possible that they only allow IE to access the video because MS says that's the way to do it. Otherwise, it's possible they're trying to cut down on people intercepting and re-broadcasting the movie.

      3.) I used another service that make the video full screen with controls right through the browser. Maybe they didn't feel comfortable enough making something like that work with all browsers.

      Again, I'm operating under ignorance with these guesses. However, I have been involved with a company trying to come up with a video technology for streaming on the net, and you wouldn't believe all the lock downs and simplifications the customers wanted. We HAD to support IE and all its fancy shit. We HAD to make sure plugin install was automatic. We HAD to have content lock controls. Etc.

      Frankly, I'm a little surprised that some of the "but it only runs on Windows" complaints aren't addressed with either a dual-boot machine or a cheapy 500mhz machine running Windows. I'm sorry the Linux users out there can't do everything they wantbecause of an inconsiderate decision by a company providing a service, but life's like that all over the place.
      • by Rhone ( 220519 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @07:24AM (#10361027) Homepage

        Frankly, I'm a little surprised that some of the "but it only runs on Windows" complaints aren't addressed with either a dual-boot machine or a cheapy 500mhz machine running Windows. I'm sorry the Linux users out there can't do everything they wantbecause of an inconsiderate decision by a company providing a service, but life's like that all over the place.

        First of all, those of us who have been using Linux for a while generally don't like booting into Windows, and we certainly don't want to monetarily support a company that forces us to do it in order to use their product.

        Secondly, I think you misunderstand the attitude behind the "but it only runs on Windows" (and only IE, and only in the US..) posts. Nobody's crying and getting upset about it. Instead, everyone seems to be saying "Oh well, I'm going back to bittorrent."

      • Yes, but it's also 'on demand'. >24 hours makes more sense when you have store hours and your own schedule to worry about.

        Actually I believe that Movie* are both purchase, download, watch. The only true 'on demand' online service is now defunct thanks to MovieLink and their backing studios. I will admit I have never seen the inside of MovieLink as I wont bother to fire up a windows box and go look.

        If they're using WMP, it's possible that they only allow IE to access the video because MS says that's the

  • by Anonymous Coward
    On MovieLink's site, they say "Watch now or up to 30 days later" while describing the benifits of their service. How do they accomplish this time limit? Does anyone know?
    • I downloaded a couple of movies from movielink only because they were free when signing up for crappy sbc dsl. Movielink installs a proprietary "downloader." This downloader connects to their database when watching the movie, I guess to verify download date and if it has been watched. I tried to watch my movie with allowing it to connect to the internet and it was a no go.
    • Sure, their video files are DRM-ed and only usable by Windows Media Player. Thus the Microsoft-ONLY tech requirement. That way they can enforce whatever the hell they want -
      "Your movie will self-destruct - instance of Kazaa found on your machine. Suffer the consequences, PIRATE!"
  • Wow... (Score:3, Funny)

    by 222 ( 551054 ) <stormseeker.gmail@com> on Monday September 27, 2004 @03:15AM (#10360388) Homepage
    They almost just had a new customer, until i saw this at the top of my screen.

    "Sorry, but in order to enjoy the Movielink service you must use Internet Explorer 5.0 or higher, which supports certain technologies we utilize for downloading movies. Click here to get the latest version of Internet Explorer.

    We do not anticipate supporting Mozilla or Netscape in the near future."

    Oddly enough, I dont anticipate them getting any of my money in the near future.
  • That shit is stupid. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Lord Kano ( 13027 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @03:20AM (#10360404) Homepage Journal
    Pay anywhere between $1.99 and $4.99 so that you can use your own bandwidth to download a movie. You have ONE 24 hour window to watch the movie. You can't burn it to DVD. You have to pay to watch it again after the window is over.

    Netflix is a better deal.

    LK
    • Netflix (and Blockbuster online) are awesome. I'm just coming out of my two week trial with Blockbuster and they just got a paying customer here. Just wish they had a better selection of obscure stuff.

      How is Netflix? Better selection? I may switch if they do.
      • by forkboy ( 8644 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @03:35AM (#10360462) Homepage
        Netflix has specialized videos that Blockbuster won't carry....pr0n and import anime, for instance.

        The first company to offer both movie and console game rentals for the same monthly price combined gets my business, for sure.

        • I want to rent games online. I also want to rent movies online. Until a service exists wherein I can do both these things with the same subscription, nobody gets my business.

          Hear that Netflix?!
          • by blixel ( 158224 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @08:52AM (#10361416)
            I want to rent games online. I also want to rent movies online. Until a service exists wherein I can do both these things with the same subscription, nobody gets my business.

            You go girl.
          • Actually, http://gameznflix.com/ [gameznflix.com] does just this, and its a few bucks cheaper than Netflix. Unfortunately they're very new and not well organised. I tried them out about 4 months ago. It took too long for anything to show up so I cancelled, and then the next day the movies showed up. I watched and sent back but never heard anything since.

            Also their queueing system sucks (I don't know if its improved since.) But they do allow a combination of games and movies for the same price.

            I still have Netflix and Gam
            • Netflix and Gamefly are both great. I'm just a poor college student who can't quite afford both of them at the same time, hence my desire for something integrated. I'll keep an eye on gameznflix, maybe they'll get their act together.

        • Netflix has specialized videos that Blockbuster won't carry....pr0n and import anime, for instance.

          In my crystal ball, I see flat rate media service oriented companies like netflix being common in the near future. I thnk it would be best to control the flow of content at the provider level. Instead of going with XYZ cable internet provider or PDQ DSL service, you would go with something like Netflix or BMG, pay for bandwidth and content and your done. Anything you want to watch you can, on demand. The
          • Keep waiting (Score:2, Informative)

            Flat rate services generally have problems with their models. They never seem to suspect that once unlimited anything is available to their clients, they often start pushing those unlimits.

            Netflix in particular [manuelsweb.com] quietly stiffs their customers who try to take full advantage of their supposedly unlimited rentals. Sure, when you start out you're getting two sets of movies a week. But then gradually they start getting "sent" and "recieved" slower and slower, until you're getting only one or less. Mind you
        • Netflix does not carry pr0n or import anime. They do carry domestically released anime. They also will carry UR videos such as the unrated version of requiem for a dream. I am unfamiliar with Blockbuster's service to comment on wether they carry any of this.

          They used to carry softcore porn several years ago but stopped.
        • Theres no porn (or very very little) at netflix - if you want that that, try hitflix
      • In my experience, Netflix is hands down a better service. They have a larger selection, with more copies (on blockbuster half my queue is "short waite", on netflix the entire thing is available now) and a much faster turn around time. I live in Philadelphia and there is a netflix distribution center not too far away. For blockbuster, my DVDs go all the way to North Carolina. I'm at the end of my two week trial for blockbusters and I've recieved 3 movies, all of which were returned more than 4 days ago.
    • Their website seems to suggest a 30-day viewing window. Is there a catch or something?
      • You can store the movie for 30 days without watching it, but as soon as you begin playing the file, you have 24 hours to watch it before it expires.

        I tried their little free movie download to see how their stuff works. I think the 30-day limit may be a function of MovieLink's software, actually, as the media file itself just seems to have a 24-hour limit from the time it was first opened. So you might be able to keep the unplayed file longer by copying it to another location (so that the MovieLink software
        • Their service might actually be worthwhile if their prices were lower, but $5 is a bit steep for renting a movie. Yeah, I know, that's what Blockbuster charges too, but that's why I haven't been to Blockbuster in a long time

          Really? IIRC most rentals around here are $5 for two or three days (depending on the movie). Well, I haven't been to Blockbuster in a while either. And since they're trying to push their $19.99 a month mail-order service, a price hike doesn't seem all that implausible.

          In my opinion,

          • I agree that it is kind of a niche market. It's not going to be very popular with the home theater crowd, for sure, but I actually prefer watching movies on my PC. My 19" TV isn't much bigger than my 17" monitor, and with my lousy vision, the monitor is easier to see. Plus, it means I don't have to leave the house to go to Blockbuster, which probably wouldn't be open anyway at the time I'm in the mood for a movie.

            That said, MovieLink isn't worth $5 per movie, but there are the $1 rentals at real.movielink.
    • Hm... So MovieLink doesn't allow you to watch the movie on TV? :-S

      Are they nuts?

      How are you supposed to watch them? On the coputer monitor? lol!

      I hope I'm missing something, and I can unfortunately not check myself since that stupid site aren't even letting me in. :-P
    • Netflix is a better deal. Yes it is. The solution for the download sites is simple: They should allow you to watch any given movie an unlimited number of times, but charge monthly subscription rates, like Netflix does. Movie studios might cringe about the idea of someone having a huge library of downloads on their PC. But, in practice, they'd be able to get greater revenue from that method. They could even use a bittorrent-type protocol to lighten the load to their servers. Since the movies would be
      • They probably cringe at the idea, because then one person pays $20/mo for the service and burns copies onto CDs or DVDs and lends them out to all his/her friends, who then can watch them without paying for the service.

        (of course they'd try implementing some proprietary software scheme, but those always get cracked sooner or later)
  • by Lost Dragon ( 632401 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @03:39AM (#10360480)
    Wow, with movie greats like "Zontar Thing From Venus" and "Matango Fungus of Terror" I just don't see why MovieFlix isn't #1.
  • by Artifex ( 18308 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @04:04AM (#10360555) Journal
    Of course, NPD released this information to drive industry interest in its services, so there's no hard data really given. This isn't a "study" by any means. Notice how there's no mention of methodology, like whether the survey was multiple choice only or whether participants could write in other names for companies offering VOD, like Greencine. It also doesn't state whether this survey was done independently or whether it was sponsored by one of the two listed companies, as many NPD surveys seem to be.
  • by RTPMatt ( 468649 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @04:17AM (#10360586) Homepage
    Also of note, 80% of users are male and the top films purchased are sci-fi and fantasy.

    Anybody else supprised that pr0n aint toppin the list?

    • Re:whoda guessed (Score:2, Interesting)

      by 91degrees ( 207121 )
      I suspect they didn't include porn distributors in their list. Since they've been offering downloads for years now, I'd be surprised if they weren't actually number one.

      But this does lead to the question - what format do they offer porn in? Is that all DRM'ed, or are we in the poisition where an industry that is meant to be exploitative and completely lacking in morality actually trusts its customers?
      • Re:whoda guessed (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        usually when I...erm...a friend of mine downloads porn, he notes that they offer video files in different formats, with no DRM whatsoever. The Porn sites are basically rolling in it, and they don't give a shit if you redistribute their stuff. They know you'll come back for more because of the quality of the product. My friend used to visit www.cdgirls.com. They had some good stuff.
    • by squarooticus ( 5092 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @07:31AM (#10361052) Homepage
      What do you think "fantasy" is?

      Duh. :-D
    • This is Slashdot, Sci-Fi and Fantasy basically is porn to these guys.
  • Like I'd be willing to ever pay for films like " Pleasure craft loaded with babes crashes into a remote island controlled by a mad ex-Nazi scientist who transforms pretty girls into rubber faced Frankensteins." or "An experimental rocket containing radiation contaminated wasps crashes in Africa making giant killer wasps that run amok."

    :D Okay, okay, those were good times, but DVDs aren't that expensive these days and they stay on your shelf. I'd just move along.
    • My brother and I are actually going back and forth on that idea. He's an aspiring movie maker and just published his first movie on DVD: Pizza the Movie [pizzathemovie.com]. (which is a good movie, btw).

      Anyway, I think that he should have the movie where people can download it to watch it. I think then people would watch it and then buy the DVD (since that's what people do with hollywood flicks, they enjoy it so want to own it to watch whenever). He thinks that's crazy and only offers the DVD for sale, saying that people w
  • 800 mb of fun! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mrshowtime ( 562809 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @04:27AM (#10360612)
    This service is great for someone who is in college and if their college has a really good connection and they also have access to that connection "privately" as most sysadmins will not allow anything as huge as the 800mb+ files to cross their system. I have a pretty fast, stable, cable modem, and it would take me several hours to download one movie, so it's not really a "gimme" yet. Once bandwidth gets cheaper and more readily available, you will see these services offered directly from your cable company. Most of the movies offerred you can just get off of PPV anyway.
    • I've rented several movies from Movielink, and I'm not sure where you got your "several hours" time estimate. With a reasonable cable modem plan, with a peak 3Mbps down, it usually takes 30 minutes to fully download.

      But that's really not a problem... If you're in a hurry to watch it, they have a mode that lets it keep downloading while you start watching (for me, usually 2 minutes is sufficient to begin watching).

      It's not the best system (sparse selection of movies being my #1 complaint), but with many m
    • Except that, as a college student, I can only say good luck getting peopl to pay. Other options for movie downloads include bit torrent and direct connect; at the University of Washington, for example, one can find virtually any movie and download it, locally, in less than 10 minutes.

      Plus, a decent number of college students have a larger library of DVDs than books. Meaning that it's often even easier to borrow the DVD rather than buy or rent it.

  • by _dl_ ( 20841 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @04:31AM (#10360625) Homepage
    I've watched 3 movies so far and even though the regular prices are too high [but if you go through real.movielink.com they have a small number of movies $1 every week, which is how I watched mine], the limitations (24h after first view, IE, windows, etc...) are painful,... It does work suprisingly well.

    I have a 100inches front projection home theater and it looks almost as good as a good DVD, and the files are only ~540Mb(*)... They must be using some pretty powerful codecs (better than dvd's mpeg2)

    *: Or twice that for the "EQ" (higher quality) but again, standard quality was actually pretty good

    Just my experience
    • Thanks for the link! A $5 online movie rental is a bit much, but a 99-cent rental, I like. And I really like their fast servers. I'm getting almost 2Mbps (on my 3Mbps DSL connection). My first movie should be done in about half an hour. Not bad at all...

      What strikes me as odd about the offer, though, is that it's supposedly for RealNetworks "customers", which I am not, but it still let me get a movie for 99 cents. Wonder if they're planning to implement tighter security or verification for this offer inste
  • I've been struck with a thought about how movies may be in the future on computer. Say you download Mean Girls, or something like that, and there's a scene where good ole Lindsay Lohan is eating a something from pizza hut or something. A viewer of the movie who's watching it on their computer could click on the pizza box and it'd automatically link to some sort of pizza hut/mean girls special....or even select ones would have a free pizza as a prize or something. Ummm...that's my idea, nobody steal it.
  • video on demand (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Wm_K ( 761378 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @06:43AM (#10360917)
    The South-Koreans have a nice service as well vod.naver.com [naver.com]. The service is very cheap compared to those mentioned above, only about 2000 won for new movies (which is about $1,50). The quality is near DVD and is distributed by a p2p like network, on which i usually get speeds above 150KB. Besides lots of Korean movies (sometimes with English subtitles) they also have a gazillion American movies.
  • by killbill! ( 154539 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @07:47AM (#10361114) Homepage
    Apple had to serve hundreds of millions of songs before economies of scale started kicking in, before they could even make a small profit.

    Now replace 4 MB songs with 600 MB movies. Even if MPAA fees were less outrageously high than RIAA fees, how can they expect to turn a profit?
    If they want to be a serious competition to Blockbuster, they'll have to have a pretty large product range. This means storing and serving petabytes of movies: huge costs - even when storage and bandwidth costs going down - which I'm pretty sure they can't cover charging $5 a movie.

    The RIAA wanted to replace p2p flows through unidirectional flows (e.g. iTMS to customer only) in order to keep tight control of what is being downloaded on the net. However, this is materially impossible for movies. The only cost-effective way of distributing large files is over p2p.
  • Of course, giving away free dvd players [movieflix.com] can't be good for business.
  • ...are available from the handful of TorrentBits sites that offer stats on the popularity of movie torrents. I'll bet that the number of completed torrents for a given movie would track post-release DVD sales. Is there a way for the public to buy/sell future or options on movie releases? Any chance that entertainment products could ever be directly publicly owned?
  • by Cereal Box ( 4286 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @09:22AM (#10361603)
    It almost seems kind of pointless to post stories about pay-per-download stories on Slashdot, because there's never going to be one "good enough" for geeks. Might as well just post one last "All pay-for-download services suck. Back to Bittorrent" story and be done with it.

    I could be wrong though. There might someday be a movie download service that offers
    • The largest video library known to man
    • Every possible encoding format, from raw HD to 200Kb/s XviD + Ogg Vorbis (for PDAs, of course).
    • No DRM to keep users from sharing their download with millions of other users
    • Guaranteed 10Mbit+ connetions
    ... all for $0.99 per movie.
  • by krunk7 ( 748055 ) on Monday September 27, 2004 @09:37AM (#10361686)
    If you received the "We do not plan on supporting (Mozilla|OSx) or (Firefox|Linux) in the near future" message be sure to take the couple of minutes to submit feedback so the company is aware of the business they lost.
    Mine went like this:
    • I am a linux and osx user.
      You just lost my business.
  • I've used Movielink to rent about a dozen movies. For me, it beats going to the video store. At the video store, I can never find what I want, it's either unavailable or already rented. I can check Movielink without leaving my desk, and though the often don't have what I want, it's easy to check.

    As many have pointed out, the $4.99 rental fee is a bit steep. But while some folks may be good about returning movies, it seems about half the time I end up paying a late fee, so it's not really any more expensive
  • by ticklemeozmo ( 595926 ) <justin.j.novack@ ... rg minus painter> on Monday September 27, 2004 @10:01AM (#10361910) Homepage Journal
    Also of note, 80% of users are male

    The other 20% signed up using their mother's credit card...
  • I bet if Apple does movies some day that everyone will say wow Apple made this huge break throught! ;) Well, I don't think they will make a huge break through or anything but I bet they will claim to be the first when they are not. Movielink could make a good play on the market if they do a few things(written more or less as a comment I will also copy and paste in a e-mail to Movielink):

    Increase viewing time to more then 24 hours. That way you can load up the movies before a trip and not have to depend
  • The best way to go, and it's even semi-legal (depending on what you do with your copies after watching them): 1. Use NetFlix and get some movies. 2. Use DVDShrink (or whatever free DVD copy tool you have on your platform) on the discs 3. Return the movies to NetFlix the day after you received them 4. Eventually watch what you copied (either to your hard drive or to DVD-+R), or in my case, stockpile them and never watch them... :-P 5. More NetFlix DVDs arrive -- goto step 2...
  • MovieLink's Terms and Conditions are great reading!

    Movie will be downloaded to your hard drive and cannot be moved.
    It must be viewed with proprietary windows based software.
    Once you have started viewing, you have 24hrs until it is deleted without warning.
    C5: "You may not ... display ... to any third party"

    Oh but best of all: C7: You may not: use the Services or Content for any commercial or illegal purpose;

It is surely a great calamity for a human being to have no obsessions. - Robert Bly

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