Netflix downloads postponed indefinitely

Looks like Netflix is running into a brick wall trying to get download rights from studios. Personally I think they would perhaps have more luck going into niche markets first – like anime, adult, sports, perhaps TV. Deal with the smaller studios that are more open to new distribution, prove it works, then woo the big boys. For example, ADV Films, one of the largest, if not the largest, anime distributors in the US has used BitTorrent to serve free episodes of some of the shows, to let people check it out and boost DVD sales of the series. A lot of these companies were the first ones to jump on DVD, and the first to completely stop producing VHS (some anime companies went DVD-only years ago). They’re not technology adverse like the big studios.

I spotted the article via ZatzNotFunny

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MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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  • unteins

    You’d think they could also go after the television studio content. I am surprised those studios aren’t willing to license their stuff.

    I can’t envision a losing proposition for a tv studio where they make it easier for eveyone to get the last seasons of a show so that those who missed the bandwagon in the beginning will feel comfortable jumping on now.

    I certainly would be thrilled to download some old television content so I can get up to speed with the current seasons of popular shows.

  • megazone

    Or all the old shows that Time-Life shovels onto VHS/DVD – Columbo, Wonder Woman, Wild Wild West, etc. :-)

  • allyson13

    Actually, I’d love that!

  • buran

    I’m not interested in anime, porn, sports, or most TV shows. (TV shows are what I have a Tivo for!) I have no interest in a Netflix download service if they don’t offer what I want to see.

  • megazone

    Other people are interested in such things. Personally I don’t care about most movies, I haven’t rented a DVD in years, but I’d use an anime download service.

    The point is that they need to start with something to prove the system. The major studios aren’t willing to play ball with them, so they’re in a Catch-22 as long as they pin their plans on major releases. Meanwhile there are other content producers that would be willing to play ball and help build a user base and prove the technology, which makes it an easier sell to the major studios later. There are a lot of old TV shows people enjoy that aren’t on the air at all any more, and having a library of those shows available would attract a lot of users who miss their old shows.

    Like TiVo’s broadband downloads, so far it has been a few IFC shorts and some stuff about Navy Football. Not ‘must see TV’, but it is a start. You start small with the niche markets and work your way up the food chain.

    It seems like Netflix is going all or nothing – either they get permission from major studios or they won’t bother. And I think that’s a failure waiting to happen, because other vendors will start small and build, and then they’ll have to be the new player against proven systems. Akimbo has been slowly building their content base after starting with largely obscure content.

    Actually, now that Akimbo is shifting their business model from being tied to their own box, to also supporting downloads for MS Media Center PCs, maybe a TiVo-Akimbo link up would be a good thing.

    Netflix doesn’t have to interest you, in fact, I’d argue that going after you is the wrong move on their part. They’re reaching for the stars when there is lower hanging fruit they could pluck now. Go after the niche markets – they’re usually early adopters and open to new technology. For example, anime fandom embraced LD a lot more than mainstream ever did, and jumped on DVD well before the mainstream market. A lot of anime fans are used to using BitTorrent and other download services to grab new shows before they’re released in the US. They *already* embracing broadband content, give them a legal, easy to use system with reasonable prices, and they’ll use it too. And then those users will start demanding the same thing from the mainstream studios, and help get you what you want. And Netflix would be able to go to the studios with numbers in hand, showing usage, returns, etc – instead of just predictions.

  • buran

    Well yeah, but my point was that as long as that’s all they offer, I won’t be signing up for it unless they pick a niche I like.