The NY Times follows up Gizmodo’s scoop today with an effusive article how Vudu will “turn America’s televisions into limitless multiplexes, providing instant gratification for movie buffs”… without mentioning the ITVN, Akimbo, Moviebeam wasteland of products that preceded Vudu. Why would consumers pay $300 – $350 for a box that does one thing: charges for movie rentals. They won’t.
Vudu scored a breathless write-up in the New York Times today for a new movie download service they’ll be offering something this summer that is long on overblown claims and hyperbole (“This is something that is going to alter the landscape. We are rewriting economics.”) and short on realistic analysis of how resistant consumers have been to paying to download movies over the internet. Besides, it’s already sort of a crowded market when you think about it. Most cable users have been able to get movies on-demand for years, and it’s also possible to get paid movie downloads via your Xbox 360, Apple TV, TiVo (via Amazon’s Unbox service), and Akimbo, to name a few.
Om Malik points out some realities of the marketplace:
Cable companies are not sitting still and are beefing up their Video on demand offerings. Two of the largest cable providers – Comcast and Time Warner Cable are testing a video-on-demand system that would allow them to release the movies on their VoD systems the same day DVD is released, which kind of takes away any competitive advantage of Vudu.
Megazone did the math and documents Vudu’s TiVo bloodline:
VUDU’s is headed by people with a lot of experience – two of them are ex-TiVo employees. Edward Lichty, VUDU’s Chief Operating Officer, spent eight years at TiVo. VUDU’s Vice President of Engineering, Andy Goodman, was the second hire on TiVo’s software team.Since VUDU is a 41 person company, as per the Times article, more than a quarter of the company is ex-TiVo. Personally, with all the TiVo connections, my dream would be to see this service land on the Series3. I would like to see more convergence, fewer boxes.
Amen to fewer boxes, with more features.