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Big mistake, Hastings. Stick to what you do best until it's time to branch out into new technologies. NOBODY is clamoring for this yet. NOBODY needs this yet.


Scotty, you are right.

The media and bloggers have some false preoccupation with blowing VOD up to be some magical, nearly here revolutionizing service. I don't think Hastings believes that, as he says that Netflix is a contrarian bet on the long-term durability of DVD. Even the content acquistion that Netflix is doing has more relevance to delivering these indie films on DVD rather than digitally.

Netflix barely ever talked about the Tivo tie up. It's all some illusion from over-zealous pundits, and techno geeks who don't understand the business problem.

Hunter McDaniel

The fundamental problem with any VOD venture is the need to get a "mother may I" from the studios, who (a) have a lot of existing deals that VOD competes with and (b) have no desire to share revenues with an intermediary like Netflix.

The beauty of the core Netflix service is that it provides "good-enough" VOD on the back of a well-established licensing model the studios can't easily renege on.


As I've said before in other posts - Hastings is just pandering to Wall Street to keep the stock price up. Make it look like Netflix has its foot in the door on this cutting edge internet video downloads hype, and the Wall Street Analysts get all excited and keep their stock "buy" recommendation.

Hastings isn't stupid - he knows that realistic (i.e. generates profit) video downloading is way, way off in the future. Currently there are all sorts of insurmountable problems, such as lack of content (thank you Studios), ludicrous DRM schemes (thank you MPAA), lack of true highspeed internet access (like Asia and Europe have), and no hardware/software standards (like good old DVDs), and these are just as a few examples.


What happened to the Tivo/Netflix deal?? I thought people would be clamoring for movies on their DVR as opposed to getting DVDs in the mail. This to me would fill the gap to true VOD.


Anyone read the 2005 thread related to this? At the very it, it gets sort of surreal, not sure what to make of it, I especially like the single line post:

i like boats

Posted by: | October 31, 2005 at 02:40 PM

Which was followed by:

I can't believe it, my co-worker just bought a car for $56420. Isn't that crazy!

Posted by: Betsy Markum | November 15, 2005 at 04:16 PM

Can there be any doubt that we have space aliens amongst us?


Somewhat a repeat post, from another thread....new comments at the end.

Has anyone looked at the Disney's MovieBeam service? I mean it is pretty interesting, it is an over the air service ( ABC and PBS, encoded in the blanking interval? ), it caches 10 just released to video movies a week, with a total of 100 flicks of supposedly DVD quality cached ( betcha it isn't, my guess mpeg4 compression ).

Depending on the studio the movie is released at the same time as the DVD or within 30 to 45 days later.

What they got wrong, and it surprises me, is the revenue model. It is a VOD model, just a supposedly quicker release cycle than cable's, 3.99 for a new release, 1.99 for "popular" film. More for HD content.

If they had set this up on a subscription model, it could have been a threat - now I suspect it is but another tech lemming destroyed by greed. Agreed it would also need some sort of content preference settings to appeal to the more out of the mainstream crowd.

When I was consulting, I did some work for Disney, greedheads all, but very smart greedheads, they had their own currency, the Disney dollar, and had expenses and base costs nailed to the penny. Queue ( as in waiting lines, and telephone holding ) management theory advanced leaps and bounds under their ever watchful eye. They knew to the penny how much money it would cost them to keep you on the phone one extra minute, and how often a parade needed to happen to distract you from waiting. Amazing.

So the question is, how did they so righteously blow this? Greed at studio level with profit sharing or alike? Did they underestimate the number of people who don't have cable or satellite, but want VOD? Gee, it would be great to hear their market analysis.

Additionally, I'm curious, how many folks would visit a video store that had say 50 new releases and 50 slightly older flicks, but in infinite quality?

Moviebeam can be found at www.moviebeam.com for an overview, take a gander at the current list of the 100 movies it has. "From Hell" the Hughes brothers abortion of Alan Moore's brilliant graphic novel was at the top of the release list, Munich is soon to follow....

I think both CJ amd Hunter have hit the nail on the head, both the studios and their industry assoc. lackeys ( MPAA/RIAA ) have hindered the possibility of a viable DL service. If the studios require 2 bucks per movie, the subscription model is prohibitive.

Remember, without the vision of folks like Warner Bros. DVDs might have never became a sell through commodity, and Netflix would never of had a chance( $70-100 for each dvd ). That step was the beginning of the end for Blockbuster retail rental, when you could buy a DVD at a price not far from that of rental plus late fees, a Netflix like company was for sure. Netflix DID NOT create the mailorder model, several VHS cult speciality houses had long had the no late fees method of rental.

As to Reed Hastings smarts to turning a profit, that has yet to occur with Netflix...


When will these bone heads wake up? People don't want to pay $2 (or more) for VOD. We want an unlimited deal like NF, with a large selection of titles. We want the freedom to burn if we want, with no annoying Digital Restrictions Mgmt (DRM). If Hollywood was not so greedy and short-sighted, they'd see that their nickel-and-dime pricing schemes alienate customers and costing them profit.

People aren't so stupid and gullible now as when they lined up to pay $4 for PPV. VOD is DOA until the studios wake up from their wet dream of pay-per-use and draconian DRM.

DRM manages rights in the same way that jail manages freedom. "Mother, may I?" "Thank you, sir, may I have another?" "Can I have some more?" Permission Culture = Tyranny. Free Culture = Democracy. Boycott DRM/VOD.

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