Early this week, in preparation for the upcoming announcement of iTunes movie rentals, I rented a movie from Amazon through Amazon unbox. I wanted to play with the competition a little before I tested iTunes, and I am becoming more and more enamored of the Amazon mp3 store, so I wanted to see how their movie download process worked before iTunes woo’d me. ( more technical stuff after I get some sleep…)
The prices on both services are the same, and the terms are the standard, stupid watch it once within a 24 hour period some time in the next 30 days that all downloadable rentals are doing. This is the major reason I will not be doing this very often. Once is never enough in our family. I could not stand the thought of spending 3.99 to see a movie once on my computer screen ( yes, I AM cheap), so I found one of the movies on sale. It was .99 to rent at the time. Less than a bottle of pop- I can drop that without blinking. It was Waitress, a movie I had never heard of- but had the bonus that it starred Nathan Fillian.
It turned out to be a slightly sappy but wonderfully romantic, OMG almost made me cry and got me hot and bothered movie. I watched it tonight, because sleep was eluding me. It will go immediately on my Netflix queue.
Why would I put it on my Netflix queue?
1) I have two teen-aged daughters, and once you get beyond the fact that the two main characters are having an affair, this movie is about real love, and not settling. It is about how that moment of birth is transforming. It is about taking care of yourself and the ones you love. It is about having faith in yourself. It is about being able to start fresh, even if you made some mistakes and having life still turn out wonderful. It is exactly the kinds of things I want them to learn. I want them to see this movie. With Xandra’s schedule, it is unlikely they will be able to see it at the same time. That is at least 2 more viewings next week. And then I want it here next weekend, so I can watch it again while Ogre is here and the kids are gone. It is incredibly romantic in a million unlikely ways, and well, it made me feel like this- I want to share that with the one I love.
So, this unlikely, movie that was just part of a small technology experiment cemented my belief that the draconic playback limitations of Rented VoD embedded in every major player will prevent this from ever taking off and being a huge success in the middle class family market. Kids will not learn this from their parents, the model does not hold for how kids watch movies. Teens will not pay the cost very often- they do not have that much money. The single, well employed folks who live alone and watch a movie once and return it will be the largest market. That is certainly enough to make some money, but it is not even close to what it would take to replace a Netflix or a BlockBuster.
Now I need to convince my body to sleep…