Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Media on Demand Takes Another Step Forward

The way we all consume and pay for media is changing radically and moving from, pay to own, to subscribe for on demand. This is no longer about music, film, games, TV,information and books , but about all digital media and how we find it, access it and pay for it.

The film on demand wars just got a lot more interesting in the UK with the news that Movie and TV streaming service Netflix has launched in the UK and Ireland. It is claimed that Netflix has been the single biggest driver of internet traffic in the US and has over 20 million online subscribers in 47 countries.

Online rival and Amazon owned Lovefilm, recently surpassed two million subscribers and both it and Netflix now line up against Sky Movies,Sky Atlantic, Virgin Media, YouTube and retailers such as Tesco’s Blinkbix for the online market.

Netflix has only launched its online service in the UK and in doing so has pledged to break BSkyB's stranglehold on the movie market. The service will allow users to stream film and TV content on devices including tablets, smartphones, games consoles and internet TVs and all priced at just £5.99 a month. Not to be undone Amazon's LoveFilm, has announced a new "streaming-only" tariff at £4.99 a month. Netflix hopes that its personalisation technology and an integration with Facebook, which allows people to share what they are watching with friends on the social network, will also provide it with competitive edge.

Netflix has also announced a number of new TV and film deals with partners that include Channel 4, Disney, ITV, Sony, 20th Century Fox and All3Media. These deals are mainly for the second rights window as opposed to BSkyB’s which has prime rights deals with the six major Hollywood studios which enable it to air films in the first pay window. When Netflix launched in Canada the company had no "pay one" deals.

Netflix has also announce deals with the likes of the BBC, Miramax, Lionsgate, MGM which will give it access to titles such as Pulp Fiction, Kick-Ass, Top Gear and Doctor Who. Lovefilm has agreements with partners including ITV, BBC, Warner Bros, Entertainment One, Sony and Studio Canal for titles that include the Twilight Saga, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Social Network.

So the UK now has three determined online streaming service providers who are not only going to aggressively compete on price but also on content. We see the growth and demand for Spotifty's music on demand, Wii's expansion to media console and recognise that as media continues to converge, platforms become important and usage migrates to on-demand we ask why many many still see books as different?

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