Friday 3 February 2012

Current State of Film Rental Industry in the UK, February 2012

1. The video store is dead.

2. Netflix launched streaming only, and suddenly Lovefilm's DVD-by-post model looked antiquated.

3. Netflix don't have the content to satisfy their users.

4. But the user experience on Netflix is amazing. Their recommendation algorithm's are surprisingly good.

5. Lovefilm's streaming sucks.

6. is dying, not just because they're stuck in the DVD-by-post age, but their customer service is poor.

7. Everyone is posturing. Netflix say they want everyone using their service. Lovefilm say they have the deals with studios and the choice of packages to suit your financial constraints. Cinema Paradiso now say they're specialising in foreign cinema.

8. There'll only be one winner.

9. Let's not forget Sky Movies, they have all the deals in place for the newest movies. Used to be they'd premiere films before the video stores, but now with online streaming, the model is changing and it all depends on where the studios want to distribute their films.

10. Independent films can prosper on sites like Netflix if they're given a chance.

11. Blinkbox have a big userbase but Netflix will put a huge dent in it. Why? Because people trust the brand, even though it's just arrived in the UK. And people hate the ads on Blinkbox. They offer free content but the constant interruptions make it a horrible experience.

12. Illegal streaming is growing. People want new releases and they don't want to go to the cinema. Cinema will survive, but we need to accept people also want new releases on their flatscreens at home. The distributors need to satisy this or they'll keep losing out.

13. Netflix is currently £5.99 a month. Don't be fooled, it'll go up. Once people are hooked, they'll stick around, even when Netflix triple the price.

14 ...Unless YouTube or Facebook enter the game. They have the users, they have the resources. They could enter the movie game if they wanted.

15. The consumer is winning right now. We want easier access to movies and we want them cheaper.

16. We only lose because we can't decide which service to get in bed with. That's why the content is split -- (i.e. Lovefilm and Netflix have wildly different streaming content). We're fractured over different services, and there are still a huge amount of people clinging on to DVD.

17. I think we have two more years of being up in the air before we have a decisive answer as to the future of film distribution.

18. We're growing out of ownership. It's not necessary to own films any more. We only do it because it gives us a sense of self, it supports our identity. "Hi, I'm the Kid In The Front Row and I own three copies of 'Jerry Maguire'". But what does that mean? Nothing. We're gradually realising that. Streaming is convenient and increasingly reliable and it doesn't require the shelf space. If films I own on DVD are also available to stream, then I watch them online, it's more convenient!

19. Sky Movies have the exclusives. Lovefilm have the back catalogue. Netflix is cool. Where will this end up? When will Cinema Paradiso go bust?

20. Movies are getting cheaper and easier to access. We should be happy.

Care to share?

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