• 03-10-2011, 05:44 PM
    Woochifer
    Movie Rentals On Facebook: More Hype Leading to Nowhere
    Following up an argument I've long made about the video on-demand options out there, Facebook has now joined the parade of websites offering up streaming movies. Basically, Facebook is offering online streaming video rentals at $3 each. The first movie posted on Facebook's rental service is 2008's The Dark Knight -- a three-year old movie, but one that has not yet been made available on Netflix or other streaming video sites. For now, the deal only includes Warner, so a lot of content is still missing. Obviously, they're in the trial stage, and it remains to be seen who else will join in, or what kind of content will be offered up.

    Personally, I don't see this as any different from the other options for PPV movies already out there like iTunes or Vudu. And it's not like Facebook is an especially secure platform, or one that places any emphasis on video quality. I see this as yet another sign of just how balkanized the internet video landscape is.

    More uninspired options don't further the market push for online video. IMO, they further marginalize the market by pushing yet another platform, yet another payment system ($3 rental is actually 30 Facebook credits), and yet another limited subset of titles available (so many cases where you see certain movies available on one service, but not another). Color me jaded, but I don't see making any kind of market impact, unless it can aggregate the content together and create a compelling platform.

    As usual, a lot of the tech bloggers are salivating at the chops over yet another on-demand internet TV option. Only this time, it's FACEBOOK and its 700+ million users leading the charge. Surely, this time it spells doom and gloom not only for disc media and cable TV (which a lot of the tech press has already written off as extinct relics, even as they continue to command the majority of the revenues and viewing time), but Netflix and Amazon are now dead too!

    Indeed, this news stirred up a panic, as Netflix stock went down 7% yesterday when the news of Facebook's video rental service came out. But, as usual I just shake my head at this whole phenomenon. Time after time, the tech press just flat out gets it wrong when trying to decipher the TV and home video markets. They're so caught up in their own rhetoric and believing that they're part of some elite vanguard, that they forgot that it's the mass market who will decide whether or not these online viewing options will succeed or fail.

    I mean, we've been hearing the mantra about "cord cutting" for years now, how NOW'S the time to ditch the cable/satellite and watch all your TV over the internet. Every time I hear it, I just wonder who the hell actually believes that bullcrap? Or rather, do any of those geeks actually watch TV? Or watch live events? Or watch sports? Or do they only care to watch something if they can get it for "free"?

    At least now, we're finally starting to hear some sane voices in the mix -- people who actually look at the same market data I've been looking at for the past few years, and concluding that all this talk about "cord cutting" is a myth.
  • 03-11-2011, 07:15 PM
    Smokey
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Woochifer
    As usual, a lot of the tech bloggers are salivating at the chops over yet another on-demand internet TV option. Only this time, it's FACEBOOK and its 700+ million users leading the charge. Surely, this time it spells doom and gloom not only for disc media and cable TV (which a lot of the tech press has already written off as extinct relics, even as they continue to command the majority of the revenues and viewing time), but Netflix and Amazon are now dead too!

    DVD might be on death step, but I don't think bluray (or physical disc) is going anywhere any time soon as author of blog said. And the numbers prove it as last year U.S. consumers spent $385 million to buy or rent movies online. That is just a fraction of the $16.3 billion spent on DVDs and Blu-ray discs.

    Disc ownership have many privilages that online movies for download or rent does not offer.