Mark has written a couple of times about the challenges facing the downloadable movie industry. Today he writes about Apple’s new offering.
If it really takes me as long as six hours to download a movie from iTunes I can’t imagine any movie that I would be willing to wait that long for – not when I could get it next day mail for less, not when I could run to Blockbuster and buy it, and not when I could burn a copy of a friend’s DVD in 1/6th that amount of time.
And if I download from iTunes I get “near-DVD” quality, NOT DVD quality. Hell, I can download a higher resolution copy of a movie using BitTorrent in about that much time – with much more control over my bandwidth usage.
No doubt downloadable movies will eventually be commonplace – and profitable. But not until we get that fiber to our home. Cable modems and DSL just won’t cut it – especially since the more people use movie downloading services through those connections the worse the experience will be – for everyone – not just the movie downloaders.
Add into the mix that eventually Internet Service Providers will have to start charging you on a metered basis. Basically you will pay more for downloading more. So those movies will end up with a surcharge affixed to them (one that is covered now by a type of subsidy – those that use their Internet connection only occasionally are helping pay for the excess bandwidth the movie downloaders are consuming).
For me it’s just easier to spend the 30 minutes to run to BlockBuster and buy what I want – and it gives me an excuse to stop by Sonic for a chocolate shake on the way. Online videos are a long way from providing me with a good chocolate shake!