Video almost on Demand

March 5, 2007

Everyone believes that Blockbuster and Netflix are doomed when video on demand inevitably becomes mainstream. However, the problem right now is customers can’t select and watch a movie immediately because most have slow Internet connections. But this can be solved using Netflix’s model. Download the top 5 movies in my Netflix queue and store it on my machine. After I watch a movie, delete it and download the next movie from the queue. If a movie is 4GB and average download speed is 1Mb, then total download time will be around 8 hours. If you assume it takes 12 hours to download a movie, then a customer can watch 2 movies per day. Netflix would probably want to cap the number of movies a customer can watch per month; otherwise, they would lose money after they pay a license fee per movie. Anyway, I think this model would work just fine over an existing network. The idea that customers only want to download movies immediately is proven wrong by Netflix’s existing model, where customers wait a few days between movies. So hurry up and implement this Netflix, ’cause I’m sick of waiting for your red envelopes to arrive.

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