Movie Industry Strategy Regarding Digital Downloads Stinks

We are moving quickly to a time when movies will be distributed exclusively digitally. The days of the DVD are limited. I can’t even remember the last time I had my DVD player plugged in. But the industry has a policy regarding how movies are distributed online that makes me crazy.

When movies first come online in stores like iTunes or Google Play Movies, the are often available for purchase only with no rental option. It can be up to a month until a movie is available to rent. This is ridiculous. The industry I’m sure believes they are protecting sales by holding off on rental options but this is not the case. Buying a movie vs renting is a pretty straight forward decision. If I really love a movie and want it in my permanent collection, I will buy it, but many movies I simply want to watch once and not necessarily own. Holding back a rental options does not cause people to buy the movie instead, it only frustrates them and moves them to acquiring the movie via other non-legitimate means. The industry is not loosing any sales because there is no sale to be made but they are giving up the rental income.

If the movie industry was smart, they would have purchase and rental options available at the same time as well as offering a rent-to-own option wherein after you have finished watching a rental movie an option pops up asking if you would like to purchase the movie by simply paying the difference of your rental and the full price of the movie. You will often not now if you want to buy a movie until after you see it and right after you watch a movie, you catch people in the afterglow when they are most likely to make a purchase for a movie they have really enjoyed. This seems so obvious to me, I truly can’t understand why this isn’t currently being done.

iTunes has proven with music that if you give people what they want, where and how they want it, they are happy to pay you for it. If you frustrate people in their ability to get what they want, they will turn to piracy. I think the movie industry leaves a lot of money on the table with their crazy policies in how they distribute movies online.