(Image courtesy of Variety.com)
VOD - Video On Demand - has a evolved from a want of the elite consumer, to the need of the everyday joe.
Before the streaming internet, VOD was related to bulky set-top-boxes you plugin to your TV. Much like cable TV, it allowed you a wide range of channels but also gave you power on when you want to watch something specific. This can be related to Pay-per-view videos offered by content distributors.
Right now, VOD is more synonymous to Netflix, with its annual growth rate spiking through the roof. Netflix became the goto for VOD, where you can choose when to watch previously aired serialized content (TV offerings) even if you dont have cable, a TV, or an antenna. It made post-screening of last-year movies easier than renting or buying a DVD. But that is not the end of it, enter Prima Cinema.
Prima Cinema, the first and only Transactional Video On Demand (TVOD) system of the world to deliver Hollywood movies directly to private home theaters...
Basically labeled as the "Netflix for millionaires", this service gives individuals a home theater system with TVOD capabilities. Which in simpler terms, you can watch same day showing of films on your home. It caters to the wealthy since it would requires you to dish out $35,000 for the hardware - a player with biometric fingerprint reader - and $500 for each film you want to watch, that has a 24 hour lifeline before it expires.
Now enter "The Screening Room", a disruptive (as others say) service spearheaded by Napster's own Sean Parker. Sean Parker notes that "The Screening Room" will promise an easy to use and consumer (every day joe) level price for first run videos. I think its like Prima Cinema, but marginally cheaper.
But, not everyone was happy about this new pitch considering it was being held on CinemaCon (The Official Convention of The National Association of Theatre Owners - NATO) where Hollywood producers, filmmakers and theater owners gather.
Many noted their dismay on yet another service / software / hardware that would render their mode of delivery (cinemas) obsolete.
It comes to me as a surprise, first is that content delivery / streaming media is already making strides to bring everything to the home and second P2P channels are now making it possible to watch anything without dishing out a cent. But on both points, no one wants those to flourish - hence some illegal activities always have DMCA takedowns - yet VOD is a horizon where you can reach more than you can with a fixed time / place content delivery.
We can argue about theater effects and technology like 3D / 4D / iMax / Surround Sound. But in the end, the regular consumer might just want to see there favorite actors (or actresses) weep, die or kick-butt on screen. Either way, VOD / streaming content is now becoming the norm for people who are always on the go and those who want to hold their time on watching or binge watching on a whole weekend of movies or a series.