Once Again, You Don't Compete With Innovative New Services By Being Lame

from the in-case-you-weren't-paying-attention dept

A couple years back we pointed out how the entertainment industry kept trying to "compete" with new (legal and not-so-legal) online services, but always seemed to do so by being incredibly lame. And, you don't compete by being lame. It appears that this message still hasn't quite gotten through to some yet. With the movie industry facing new challenges concerning online distribution and innovative services like Redbox, here are two stories of old school players trying to "compete" but missing out on the part where they make their offering compelling.

The first comes from Josh in CharlotteNC, who points out that Blockbuster is trying to compete with Redbox and its widely available kiosks (and Netflix with its larger library of downloadable movies) by setting up kiosks in its stores where you can download movies. But... you can only download them to proprietary SD cards, and then it can only play on special proprietary hardware that participants in this program need to have. How is that a better experience then, well, anything? If you want a movie that can be downloaded, why not just let people download it at home? Why have people go out to download it?

Then we have a story sent in by Loydster, about how Sony Pictures is offering owners of new Sony/Bravia HDTV's the chance to download and watch the movie Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs before the DVD release. While that is actually a nice tie-in between Sony's content business and its consumer electronics business, Sony (of course) has to screw it up. That's because the company thinks it can charge $25 to download the movie. The company seems to admit that it's charging this much because it doesn't want to piss off its retail partners (like WalMart), but it's difficult to see why it's worth doing the project at all if the pricing is going to be so ridiculous.

Experimenting with ways to compete is good... but being so obviously lame is not.
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Filed Under: competition, downloads, kiosks, movie rentals
Companies: blockbuster, sony


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Nov 2009 @ 11:30am

    And from the engadget article it seems that its only a 24 hour rental and I think it can only be rented on that day December 8th. Thats just wrong Sony, 25 bux for a rental?

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