Originally posted by LotharSNL
I was considering video for sale online, and was wondering how strong the market would be. How much could they charge for a single movie? I realize it's illegal to copy movies, but I assume it's done often. My brother has some sort of movie rental deal where he can rent as many movies as he'd like for about $10.00 a month. Unless they were offering around $2.00 per movie, I'm not sure how many takers they would have. Basically, with the average home computer having the capability of backing up the content of DVDs, you don't need to pay to own them in order to possess them, legally or not, on your HD, etc. Just wondering if you guys think this would be an issue or not.
I believe the market is very strong as long as it is priced appropriately and some factors come into play. Music is easily tradable over P2P services, but Apple has made a music store that has had success. The same thing could happen to video.
However, I believe there there are more technical hurdles to face than the threat of piracy, especially for video to be used in a home media solution. People are gobbling up video on demand and pay per view services at the expense of DVD renting services, so DVD piracy isn't a big factor going forward.
The big thing about video is that the data is huge in comparison to music files. Even if you used DVD quality (instead of high definition), it would take several hours to download a 2 hour movie. People expect a certain quality with video as opposed to music, so reducing the quality isn't really an option. Streaming is not a viable option even with the best Internet connections. People expect an immediate gratification with paid services, and that cannot be provided easily with video downloads.
There is also no easy way to get video downloads into a home theater. While personal music is generally played on portable devices (iPod) or in a home audio system (Airport Express), there needs to be a solution to output video to a TV "securely" (to appease the movie industry) and easily.
Even if you do not have an iPod, you can still buy music online and use it away from the computer by burning CDs. This was an accepted and expected practice for all music downloads. Most people that download Divx movies online do not burn copies to use on their TV because there is no easy way to get it there. They watch them only on their computer, and really most people would rather watch video on their TV (much like how most people want to listen to their music on the go or on their CD player).
The ironic thing about this is that cable companies are positioning themselves as the home media center. Microsoft and Sony aren't the competition. Cable companies are adding the DVRs and the streaming media on demand. They have the delivery system to get video quickly to consumers and streamed so it's immediate. People already accept cable boxes and you don't need to buy new devices to watch it on your TV.
Apple would be facing an uphill battle against entrenched companies that are protecting their bread and butter. Don't get me wrong. I would love to see some sort of home media solution from Apple because I imagine that it would be easier to use and also quite seamless. But, it would be a fight unlike the iPod versus MP3 battle where Creative, Samsung, and Dell did not have any real advantage over Apple.