by Mike Masnick

Amazon Lets You View DVDs Online

from the always-advancing-the-e-commerce-world dept

It's still surprising that seems so much farther ahead of the game than just about any other online retailer in terms of overall features and user experience. They continue to do more to give potential buyers more information about the products they offer. The ability to listen to snippets of songs from CDs that are being sold is well known. More recently, they introduced the ability to search through entire books and view the pages online. Now, they're experimenting with a similar offering for DVDs. They're going to let people watch a full scene from a soon-to-be-released DVD. This is similar to promotions that have been done a few times to let people watch the first five to ten minutes of a movie online to try to get them hooked. As more people get broadband connections, it wouldn't be surprising if DVD sellers (Netflix, anyone?) started to offer such functionality as well.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    amazon needs help, Jun 17th, 2004 @ 7:59pm

    amazon needs help

    They may be ahead of the curve on new features, but then so is microsoft. What they (and microsoft and most other big sw companies) are still behind the curve on is customer support.

    For example, you cannot cancel an order on amazon, nor change an address that is incorrect in amazon once the order is in process. Pretty simple and pretty basic customer support request, yes? Impossible at amazon. Once it is in the pipeline (5 seconds after the submit, even for a 10 day delivery), it is on its way, no matter what.

    Your only recourse, according to amazon, is wait for it to be returned as undeliverable, and then you will get credit 4 weeks later.

    Or you go to your credit card company and cancel payment. And move all online book buying to powells.

    Why cant these companies get the basics right before they add the whiz-bang features? Too hard? Not enough ROI?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    kai, Jun 17th, 2004 @ 10:00pm


    Netflix has online previews (trailers) on nearly all of the movies they carry, though for members only, so you can watch the trailer before you rent the movie. I'm guessing Netflix was at least a full year ahead of Amazon in having downloadable previews for movies. Amazon just has a better PR department :)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Mike (profile), Jun 17th, 2004 @ 10:37pm

    Re: hmm?

    It's not trailers I'm talking about, but full scenes from the actual movie... That's what I think is cool.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2004 @ 8:30am

    Re: hmm? For Mike

    Actually I think the trailers are generally a better way to go. If the wrong scene is selected to show, you may miss a great movie or wind up with a dog depending on who's doing the selection of the scene.

    Think anyone would rent Terminator if all they saw was the lame hotel seen where Micheal B confesses is love to Sarah Conner ?

    On the flip side, I'd probably rent lots of movies that show that 'one great scene' but were banished to obscurity because the other 20+ scenes pretty much stunk or were un-moving.

    Granted, Trailers can make a dog look good and/or hide a great movie but you at least, usually, get a multitude of scene pieces for review.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    An Amazon employee, Jun 18th, 2004 @ 9:35am

    Re: amazon needs help

    " Why cant these companies get the basics right before they add the whiz-bang features? "

    Why can't you take responsibility for NOT checking to ensure YOUR address was correctly inputted by YOU, PRIOR to placing the order ?

    I get dolts like you every day pissing & moaning about things like this when frankly, it's not my fault you don't know how to input your address.

    Too hard ?
    Not enough intelligence ?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    kai, Jun 18th, 2004 @ 9:39am

    Re: hmm?

    yeah, well Netflix will be offering entire movies for download to its membership ;)

    I'm not sure what the distinction is between downloading a trailer vs. the first 5 minutes. It's not a technological one. If the studios thought the first 5 minutes of the movie were its best representation, then that would be the trailer.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    yep blame the customer, Jun 18th, 2004 @ 11:53am

    Re: amazon needs help

    yeah, that's always a good comeback when hiding a flaw in the system. it worked so well with the florida voting scandal. they were just stupid old people.

    fyi - the mistake was on amazon's part. they pulled up an obsolete address for one click and admitted such, but could not change the sending address once it was submitted.

    A simple change the address is all that is needed, but probably some marketing exec argued it is better to lock in all purchases at commit to prevent buyer's remorse from eating away at sales.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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