Disruptive Use of Net: Peerflix



I was doing some more research on that large CD Economic analysis (mentioned previously), and I came across an interesting new variation on a theme: 


Think of it as a tangent off the development line of NetFlix, only with a communal, lending-library flavor.

Here’s how it works (from the FAQ):  "List the DVDs you own and no longer want, add the DVDs you’d like to see, and get ready to trade on!"

As soon as you send a DVD out, an item on your wish list gets mailed to you. And, it only costs you 99 cents, plus a stamp. (You get charged $4.95 for five pre-paid trades in the amount of $0.99 each). Peerflix admin operates as the central librarian, coordinating the movement o DVDs between members.

I would imagine that this is a potentially disruptive technology to the NetFlix/Blockbuster/Wal-Mart snail-mail-DVDs-for-a-monthly-fee model — assuming they can get a critical mass of DVDs going.

Has anyone played with this yet? What’s your experience been like? I’m rather curious.


Now for the big question: Why not do the same for CDs? Perfectly legal, since a legitimate owner has the right to sell, trade or dispose of their physical version as they see fit. And as you could imagine, the demand for CDs to rip, share or trade would be enormous — a far greater volume than DVDs. I would imagine a far greater turnover.

PeerTunes, anyone?


UPDATE:  April 3, 2005 10:22pm

On a hunch, I checked the domain name PeerTunes.com.

Guess What?



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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Chris commented on Apr 4

    That is super cool.

    I’ll signup for PeerTunes as soon as it comes on.

    Bet this will suck used-CD business away from Ebay, Half.com and Amazon.

  2. rob hone commented on Apr 4

    I’ve got at least 300 CD’s I’d gladly trade. A virtual underground tour of late 80’s through mid 90’s alt/goth/industrial/grunge. Bring it on!

  3. sillycanuck commented on Apr 4

    Just curious. Why is you site not rendering properly with Firefox? It is OK with IE.
    Great blog, by the way. It is a daily stop for me.

  4. Rajesh commented on Apr 4

    This was the business plan for Switchouse.com (bust during the bubble) – trade and/or sell CDs or DVDs. The trade volume tended to be low compared to the sale volume – perhaps it had to do with the psychological barriers of trading? It would take a lot for me to trade my Born to Run (even if I rarely listen to it in CD format) while I am sure no one wants my Chris Isaak CDs. Ditto for my Silence of the Lambs/The Cell comparison.

  5. Stephen commented on Apr 14

    You might also want to check out who has registered http://www.peergames.com... This has enormous potential since there is less variety of games on the market (meaning more people are likely to have the game you’re looking for) and because people tend to keep games longer than movies (which would be better for a pay-per-rent system than a monthly fee system).

  6. Erick commented on May 26

    I have been using Peerflix for about 2 months and have made 8 trades so far. The site works great (although sometimes a little slow). I would highly recommend it.

  7. QueenBee commented on Jun 6

    Why wait to trade tunes when you can do it now?

    I caught your thread and thought I’d chime in with a helpful plug of my own.

    You may also find BarterBee.com to be a good alternative to the existing services you discuss. Not only can you trade-in DVD’s but you can also trade-in your unwanted CDs and Video Games for the ones you really want.

    All transactions are $1.00. Get ANY CD, DVD or Video Game for points and a $1 per-item transaction fee.
    Maximum $5 in transaction fees per month – get anything you want with no transaction fee after that.

    Take a look and join, it’s free, and give us your thoughts.



  8. Conni commented on Oct 14

    I have had a Peerflix account for over 4 months – maybe 5 months now – and it does work well – it can be slow – for more popular movies as well for movies that are not very common and there are not that many people trading that particular movie – (I think once there are more members the wait for movies will be shorter) but if you really really want to own that movie they do offer a like to Amazon to buy a copy.

    My first experience with Peerflix was rather lack luster in the fact that I requested a movie that a ton of people had and I happen to be the lucky one to come across a glitch in their system – in where they had 3 different Peerflix members send me the same movie – so I was charged for 2 extra copies of the same movie – when we got it all straightened out they did over compensate me for all the trouble – but it also took about a month to get it all straightened out because they don’t have a phone service you have to use e-mail for ALL communications – which can be slow and long when you have a complicated problem – I haven’t had a problem since and I will continue to be a member. Hope this was helpful . :o)


  9. TPS commented on Apr 29

    Help! I joined Peerflix, and the stupid labels won’t print. Two of seven printed correctly; no printer problems or internet hang-ups on my end. The printer sometimes kicks out a label with no address, sometimes a blank page with an error code, sometimes nothing at all.

    Every other site online, printer works fine, even with .pdf files, flash pages, everything. No problems whatsoever. This is a PEERFLIX problem. No pop-up block software on my system.

    HOWEVER, Peerflix “CUSTOMER SUPPORT” WILL NOT ANSWER MY EMAILS. And when I do research on the internet to see if anyone else is encountering this problem, there is virtually no information on Peerflix that dates past 2005. What happened?

    I did find lots of complaints of non-shipment. Well, if Peerflix won’t help traders with printer label problems — and, in fact, won’t even acknowledge technical issues on their website — how the heck are members supposed to ship? Obviously, I’m past frustrated.

    I’d cancel my membership, but there’s no way to contact this company except snail mail and that joke of a customer e-mail “support” (sarcasm intended) system where NO ONE IS HOME. Help!

  10. deck commented on May 28

    How about trying out a new dvd trading site with a different trading model?

    Flickflop (www.flickflop.com) is the newest way to trade your used DVD movies. Users trade against FlickFlop’s growing inventory of movies, simplifying the trade selection by offering the movies that they can trade for depending on their DVD, their movie genre preferences and trading history.

    -You trade against flickflop’s growing inventory of DVD movies.
    -Trade immediately, no more waiting if a DVD is available from another member.
    -No membership fees, no commitments

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