Wednesday, March 2, 2011

[various] VOD is such a failure here

This is driving me crazy. For years since I enjoyed NetFlix in the US I have been looking forward for a mail-based or download based video rental service in France.

Mail-based DVD rental never really worked here for several practical reasons, but also because well, this is the Internet era and download seems just easier. Unfortunately, VOD services in France are crippled either by a very limited and rather boring choice of movies, or by extremely fragile implementations (not even mentioning prices). Four (!) of my latest attempts at renting movies with different services failed -- either the movie downloaded but could not be watched, or the payment could not be made, or the service was temporarily unavailable. I have to admit, it worked once, giving a fantastic success rate of 20%.

Needless to say that US services cannot be used from France -- the 'global economy' does not seem to cross borders for customers. This left me wondering: If a customer willing to pay for watching movies and shows can't do it , isn't that actively encouraging piracy?