Coming Soon from Amazon: Unboxed Videos

Amazon_video

It looks like Amazon is becoming a video competitor to Apple’s iTunes.

Hollywood is a little leery of falling into the same situation the
music industry did — both needing Steve Jobs, but not happy with his
terms of the deal.

C/Net  writes:

"To this point, digital movies have yet to attract a large audience. It takes
hours in some cases for a film to be fully downloaded, and the quality isn’t any
better than a DVD, even though the costs are often the same.

Hollywood is eager to see how Amazon fares at selling downloadable films, an
entertainment executive said last month. Unlike the companies that have already
begun distributing digital movies, Amazon has a long track record of selling
videos online."

Here are a few screenshots, via kokogiak

Amazonscreenshot

Amazon_video_2

Amazon_video_3

More screen shots can be found at kokogiak

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Sources:
Screenshots of new Amazon video store hit the Web
Nate Anderson
Ars Technica, 8/18/2006 10:25:40 AM
http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20060818-7540.html

Scoop: More Details On Amazon’s Unbox Video Service
Erick Schonfeld
The Business 2.0 Blog, Aug 19, 2006 4:37:04 PM
http://business2.blogs.com/business2blog/2006/08/scoop_more_deta.html

Is this the new Amazon video store?
Greg Sandoval
CNET News.com, August 18, 2006, 12:33 PM PT
http://news.zdnet.com/2100-9588_22-6107282.html

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. muckdog commented on Aug 22

    Lots of money being spent by companies on the hope that we’ll spend even more money for the ability to do the same things that we already do. That is, sit on our rears and be entertained. Is there anything “new” here? Just the delivery method is changing. The evolution of video rentals. From Blockbuster, to Netflix, to downloading. The revenue moves around from company to company. Maybe the cost gets less expensive.

  2. Rajesh commented on Aug 22

    The terms look a little silly:
    — Purchased videos can be watched on 2 (two) non-portable Authorized Devices (e.g. laptop or desktop computers) and two (2) portable Authorized Devices as specifically designated by Amazon from time to time.

    —Consumers will be able to burn purchased videos onto a DVD, but it looks like it will only play on newer DRM-compliant DVD players:

    —You may make a back-up copy of the Purchased Digital Content on removable media (e.g. recordable DVD) in the same format as the original downloaded file to play on your permitted Authorized Devices. Any back-up copy of the Purchased Digital Content on a DVD will not be playable on a traditional DVD player.

    So Amazon wants me to upgrade my DVD player? Also, I have to rid off my Mac and get a PC for this when I can probably have a cross-platform solution with iTunes? Wow. When was the last time something like that was uttered – cross-platform from Apple? Interesting times ….

  3. paul commented on Aug 22

    So, if I want to take a downloaded video to a friend’s and watch it over pizza and beer, we can: (1) watch it on my (authorized) laptop; (2) figure out how to hook up my (authorized) laptop to their TV or (3) burn a copy if my friend has a new DRM compliant DVD player. Why am I going to do this to save a dollar off a video rental or netflix?

    More generally, this authorized device is a problem. A computer I had my iTunes on died because of a motherboard problem. We took out the hard drive, so I have all the music and data, but I cannot deauthorize the dead computer with iTunes because it needs to be plugged into the internet (and, obviously, working).

    So if I have an authorized portable device that is stolen or dies, I have fewer options for watching the video I purchased. Seems to me there needs to be a bigger price break to make it worth while, but maybe I’m old (41) and crotchety.

    I remember downloadable video big a big deal for Enron and Blockbuster. Oops. No doubt one day it will work, but has enough changed yet?

  4. The Advertizer commented on Aug 23

    There are good news from Amazon! And the screenshots show that it’s going to be a good thing. The management from Amazon is a very good one and they know adapting to the market needs very well.

  5. Craig H commented on Aug 23

    I wish I hadn’t covered my AMZN short at 32. I double-wish I had reshorted it on the bounce back to 38. I triple-wish that Bear Stearns will make them the pump-du-jour before the rest of the world comes back from the hamptons.

  6. Thom commented on Aug 23

    So how much cost does changing the delivery mode save? A buck or two for pressing the DVD, clamshell and printing. Another dollar or two in shipping and warehousing costs? I don’t see how this is really viable for popular titles. I mean, I would pay almost as much for an “electronic” version that seems to have much more odious DRM restrictions. Plus, even if I can burn the movie to a DVD those don’t last long at all compared to a DVD that is mass produced.

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