I Know, Let's Make The More Expensive, Less Useful Movie Downloads Tough To Use

from the not-listening-to-the-criticism dept

One of the key services that entertainment companies can sell is an easy, enjoyable experience. The lack of effort involved with syncing an iPod with iTunes is what makes that product so seductive, even though cheaper, more flexible options (like piracy) exist. So it’s amusing to read a first-person account (via BroadbandReports) of trying to download a film from Movielink, which looked inconvenient from the description alone. The process was riddled with errors and hurdles so it took over an hour just to get the download going, which itself took over 4 hours. What’s funny is that Movielink was taking harsh criticism three years ago, so you’d think they would have gotten the message. If you’re asking consumers to pay for something that is already available online, the selling has point has to be convenience, something that Movielink hasn’t figure out.

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Comments on “I Know, Let's Make The More Expensive, Less Useful Movie Downloads Tough To Use”

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fsckr (user link) says:

I'm surprised...

the cable companies haven’t jumped on this opening. Convenience is king when it comes to home entertainment. If you make your users jump through hoops they will leave when a more convenient service comes along.

I’ve been harping on this issue for a few years now. The box my cable company ships me has a fairly large HD (80GB if i’m not wrong) and a pretty fat pipe.

I know this might be oversimplifying things a little but why can’t they just license all the movies in (say) the Netflix database, encode them in mpeg4, and give me an interface to download them and charge me a fraction of the DVD cost (since there’s a much lower comparative distribution cost)

And no, I’m not talking about the crappy collection of last weeks features that they offer OnDemand, I’m thinking older, less popular movies- you know, the long-tail of the movie selection.

If they took this route, they’d put companies like movielink and netflix out of business because those businesses have a larger convenience cost.



mthorn says:

Re: I'm surprised...

Actually netflix should just do the service. They already have a library of new and old movies to start ripping from.

However I prefer netflix’s current method. Having the DVD in hand means more features, better quality, and more possibilities of watching.

Typical wait time is only a day or two, who needs to watch a particular movie right now? If you have a queue you have a constant stream of movies to watch.

lex says:

Movielink works for me

You can ony use IE with movielink and you have to download a client and reboot your system the first time you download the movie.

Other then that the process is pretty painless.

With a decent broadband connection you can start watching a move 3 minutes after starting the download.

And if you still have your college email active you can get 25% off each download.

I say its pretty convenient if you are willing to fork out 4bux to watch the movie now rather then wait a day for the torrent download.

Brian Ward (user link) says:

Not quite there

I reviewed both Movielink and Cinema Now’s new VOD offerings about a month ago. The speeds of both services were fine actually. The software download was a painful experience, but you only have to do that once. The biggest problems with the services are selection, DRM and proprietary deals studios are making. I agree that ONE selling point should be convenience, the second should be quality. The studios need to offer all of the added features available on DVDs along with downloads and provide top quality audio and video guaranteed to be free of spyware and viruses.

Greg says:

Re: MovieLink

I currently subscribe to Vongo, but I’m quitting this week (before my subscription renews) because it’s a terrible service – I don’t know how yours works “fine.” Besides poor movie selection and bulky client, Vongo has deleted my movies 3 times for no reason – they weren’t expiring, I didn’t delete them, they just disappeared one day before I watched them. Movielink is much better on the whole, I think. But I’ve switched to Netflix anyway because I don’t need to take my movies with me anywhere.

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