It’s nice to see the experimentation by Amazon and
Apple. I certainly like the notion of
bringing all this digital content to the television. I’m just not that sure it’s going to be that
big of a deal.
First of all, it’s not like consumers are starved for movie
options. Loads of choices already
exist. Besides the Blockbuster in every
neighborhood, doesn’t every cable and satellite service already feature a
fairly extensive list of on-demand/pay-per-view choices? Sure, they don’t offer every single movie
ever made, so the Unbox/iTunes solutions bring the long tail into play, but I
still have a hard time thinking that’s significant in this business.
Some would say Unbox/iTunes addresses the need for instant
gratification. I can see where that
plays a major role in some industries, but hasn’t Netflix shown that folks are quite
comfortable waiting a day or two for a movie? I don’t know that instant gratification is
such an important factor with movies.
critical, right? After all, everyone
wants to watch movies on their portable devices. Yes, I’ve seen people on planes and elsewhere
watching movies on laptops and portable DVD players, but that too seems like
Then there’s the whole “if you want a Disney movie you can only get
it from iTunes, but for everyone else you can go to Amazon, but keep in mind
the Amazon ones won’t work on an iPod…” issue. Yuck. I can only hope both organizations figure out how to make this more
seamless for consumers who only care about watching a movie, not corporate
Btw, if the Apple solution takes off, it will be yet
another remarkable case of Steve Jobs being able to rope people in to a highly
proprietary (closed) system. Wow. I thought those days were well behind us,
which of course is why I’ve never bought an iPod and never will.