VOD: Why own when you can rent?

Posted in DVD, rentals, VOD by Diane on September 14, 2009

In yesterday’s NYT, Beastie Boy turned indie film distributor Adam Yauch made a very pithy prediction about DVD:

I think that VOD, streaming and/or downloading will soon replace the rental market. And buying DVDs will just be for serious collectors, or when someone really loves a film. DVD sales are becoming more like people who collect vinyl records.

This seemed very wise for a number of reasons, not least being I’ve believed for a while that VOD and streaming will supplant DVD rental and sales. But I especially liked the comparison of DVD purchasers to the hobbyists and purists that collect vinyl records. Coming from a musician, the metaphor packs extra punch.

As Internet and cable VOD becomes easier to use, it will grow in popularity: The convenience of ordering a movie from your TV or computer outweighs a trip to the rental store. And let’s face it, more and more people are realizing they won’t necessarily watch the movie a second time, making a purchase harder to justify. But those than do want to will be able to download the movie for repeat showings.

This isn’t necessarily tragic: As I’ve pointed out before, studios wouldn’t mind a shift away from DVD rentals to VOD, for they get a greater cut of the action.

The NYT story explores indie film distribution in great detail. Read it here.

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