Amazon’s CustomFlix Biz to Offer Quick DVDs

Discussion
Apr 25, 2006
George Anderson

By George Anderson


Instant gratification, or at least close, is becoming an increasingly popular goal of entertainment companies and retailers in that space.


Cable companies offer films and other programs on demand. Consumers can now buy and download popular television shows such as “Lost” within 24 hours of them airing through Apple Computer’s iPod service.


Now, Amazon.com’s subsidiary CustomFlix Labs has signed deals with television networks, such as NBC, PBS and A&E Home Video, that would allow the company to burn and sell DVDs of television shows shortly after they’ve been broadcast. Consumers will purchase programs through the Amazon web site.


Initially, customers will be able to purchase DVDs of niche programs such as the “Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show” and “Antiques Roadshow.”


Greg Greeley, vice president for worldwide media products for Amazon.com, told The Associated Press that, eventually, networks may choose to offer programs that appeal to a wider audience.


Dana LoPiccolo-Giles, co-founder and Managing Director of CustomFlix, said in a released statement, “The CustomFlix DVD on Demand service works perfectly for the massive amount of content that network and cable channels have yet to make available on DVD and other digital formats. Our service enables content providers to quickly and economically distribute previously unavailable programming to millions of Amazon.com customers.  Because we produce discs only when customers order, our providers are not subject to the expense or risk associated with traditional distribution methods.” 


Moderator’s Comment: Does the average consumer’s need for speed translate to the demand for various types of television programming or are networks and
retail merchants trying to build demand in the minds of the audience?

George Anderson – Moderator

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.

Join the Discussion!

8 Comments on "Amazon’s CustomFlix Biz to Offer Quick DVDs"


Sort by:   newest | oldest | most voted
Don Delzell
Guest
Don Delzell
14 years 10 months ago

Not to sound repetitive, but where’s the need? Sure, I can build a similar argument for niche markets…some of which the relative instant gratification makes sense, and some of which it doesn’t. The niche programming mentioned hardly feel like instant gratification stuff. Serial television, yes, I can see a market for. But at what cost? Particularly since obliging networks run the same episode on multiple channels during the week often, or include prior segment updates to stretch the content?

Really…this one sounds like a “because we CAN, we WILL,” not because large groups of people were expressing an unmet need they’d be willing to pay for.

Retailers and suppliers must be careful to provide services and products to meet needs, not simply because they can.

Ryan Mathews
Guest
14 years 10 months ago

I think I agree with Dan but it took too long to read his answer. Seriously, I don’t see this as much of a market. I assume those folks who would be the market already have recording capability of one kind or another.

Mark Lilien
Guest
14 years 10 months ago

Amazon’s audience is so large that even a small percentage buying the product will add up to significant sales volume. But the service itself as well as the lukewarm content doesn’t look like a magic bullet that will make Amazon’s comp sales figures start to blast off.

Warren Thayer
Guest
14 years 10 months ago

There’s little cost involved, but I fear little demand. It should do okay, but nothing earth shattering. Networks could/would take this over themselves directly if it really pulled much, or if they saw big potential. My gut feel is that consumers aren’t going to want to pay for something that was free 24-48 hours ago. It’ll just go against the grain.

Dan Raftery
Guest
14 years 10 months ago

Sorry, but I don’t think this qualifies as even close to instant gratification by today’s definition. It is, however, a way to obtain lost content. I think the market is collectors, especially for the special market shows. The demand-driven production business model is the only way this will work. No inventory to manage.

Jeff Weitzman
Guest
Jeff Weitzman
14 years 10 months ago

I agree with Dan and Jared, this isn’t close to instant. Let’s face it, the current state of entertainment availability has little to do with how consumers want to consume and everything to do with the feasibility of doing it any other way. As the technical hurdles fall away, we’re going to see a proliferation of distribution channels. Consumers will and should have many choices in how they want to receive video entertainment. In a digital world, the owners of that content have few obstacles to making the content available in as many ways as possible.

BTW Jared, you can download and burn a DVD of almost any TV show within hours of its airing, but the legality of doing so is, shall we say, questionable.

jared colautti
Guest
jared colautti
14 years 10 months ago

I agree with Don Raferty. This service will be a boon to niche collectors, but how big is that market?

I’m still waiting for the next stage of the evolution: Where I can download TV shows and movies in a format that allows me to burn a DVD and watch it using a conventional DVD player and television.

Bernie Slome
Guest
Bernie Slome
14 years 10 months ago

Whether CustomFlix is trying to build demand or fill the need for instant gratification, it is a brilliant move. With DVR & TiVo & VCRs all competing for business, CustomFlix has thrown their hat into the ring. While many will use the aforementioned devices, there are others who will forget or are away or are lazy. CustomFlix will appeal to them. Additionally, since they won’t be stocking any products or custom making them, it is a add-on service. It gives the appearance of being customer-centric. And by making this deal and announcement, it gives them free publicity. Excellent move!

wpDiscuz

Take Our Instant Poll

What level of consumer interest do you see for on-demand media programming sold through retail outlets such as Apple’s iPod service and CustomFlix DVDs on Amazon.com?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...