BitTorrent launches legal movie & music download service

I just posted the article BitTorrent launches legal movie & music download service.

The creators of the well known BitTorrent file-sharing network technology have launched a legal download service using the technology to deliver music, music videos, TV shows and movies. The service…

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No matter how many times it happens, the media cartels just don’t “get it.” The only way to complete with free downloads is to give some extra value for the money. With this service, in return for money you only get something inferior to free downloads, crippled to the core. Who in their right minds would pay for something that is worse in every single way?

I’d pay 4 bucks to essentially rent a movie online, but TV shows should be a buck. $3 to watch an hour of Prison Break because you forgot to tivo it? Madness. But the DRM thing is going to kill it, as you say. I can rent a movie from netflix and copy it in a snap, or pull it down illegally, of course, and not have any expiration or whatever. That whole concept is idiotic in the first place - most people don’t even want to watch movies repeatedly; there’s very little potential lost revenue due to allowing people to keep something that they downloaded. But if the price was right, and I think $4 isn’t too high for a movie rental, I’d prefer something legal and RELIABLE to something illegal, that often is of suspect quality and spotty availability.

Anyone know what happens if I start watching a movie, have to stop it, then go to watch it when I find time to finish it a couple days later? I wish they’d just create a killer DRM system and attatch it to movies with a 15 or 30 day non-commercial license. That would be an attention-getter. And why not make it quality-tiered, too. Say $3.99 for DVD quality with AC3 audio, $1.99 for 320x240 stereo, $9.99 for 720p w/7.1 HD audio? Then, of course, charge more for new releases or gasp pre-releases or GASP simultaneous theater/torrent releases. I suppose more versions could slow down the swarm for each version, but there are lots of clever ways to increase swarm size. Discounts for movies that are lower health, etc. If people see 25/50/75% discounts on movies along a scrolling sidebar, there is going to be some srious impulse buying that will lead to a healthier network and increased overall renevue. Then there could be loyalty incentives, like purchase vouchers, preferential downloading, special previews/trailers or early release priveleges - all based on monthly upload ratios so users are much more likely to continue sharing for that full 15/30 days…Make upload bandwidth a commodity like private trackers currently do. BitTorrent could be such an incredibly lively, creative, and lucritive marketing AND distribution tool. I’d definitely check out a well-planned indexing site with user ratings and moderated discussions, the above features and incentives, along with the ability to request classics from participating or “featured” studios… Keep dreaming, Rick. :+

Don’t worry, in the ensuing money-grab, the ISPs will be bitching about the increased traffic, so they’ll block the ports and start a new “torrent tier” premium service. It never ends… :S

This from another news feed “BitTorrent’s content is protected by Windows Media DRM and will only play back using Windows Media Player.” That’s the kiss of death for me…

Rick: Those prices are too high. I can go buy an actual DVD with all the artwork for those prices. This service will fail.

You can buy an actual DVD with artwork for 4 bucks? Where, on the street in NYC? Er, no. Maybe a 20 year old B movie in the Walmart discount bin, but new releases cost 18-25 bucks. These prices are supposed to compete with rentals, not purchases.

I buy new movies for $5.99 - $9.99 all the time. Hastings sells their previously viewed rentals about 3 weeks after release, so it’s not much of a wait at all. That’s not much more than a rental, so why rent? And I have found plenty of great movies for around four dollars, you just have to know where to look. Other than a handful of new releases that I just HAD to have, I refuse to pay $20 dollars for a single film. I’ll only pay that much for boxsets or tv shows.