Everybody and their Uncle Pandarus is reporting on the Globe bringing their plays online for rental or purchase. As a fan? I love the idea. As a technology geek I think it’s a good first step, and for a number of reasons I hope they make some changes.
If you haven’t seen the player yet, it’s proprietary. Instead of teaming up with any of the plethora of other services available, the Globe is using their own. You register with them, pay them your money, and watch your videos on their player. This goes against what I see as the most common trends in this industry. As a consumer I want:
1) An “all you can consume” subscription option. You tell me you put 50 plays online and want to charge me $6.50 to rent each one, I can’t help thinking “It’s going to cost me over $300 if I expect to watch all of these.” But tell me that for $99 I can have a year long access to watch the plays whenever I want? Much better deal, and also far more likely to get more money out of me because I may have high hopes about watching all of them, but let’s be realistic, I’m not doing that. Not only are many not available in my region, many are in foreign languages. So if I end up watching less than about 15 of them, the $99 deal still puts the Globe ahead.
2) I want to watch on my television, not my computer. This is standard now. Between my Roku box and my Chromecast, anything that’s worth watching is worth watching on the big screen. I’m relatively certain they don’t have a Roku channel, but I’m honestly not sure if it works with Chromecast. It might.
3) If I choose to buy/own a video, do I get a DRM-free, downloadable version? I’m not going to try it to find out, but that’s what I’d want. I want a file that I’ll copy over to my home video system, where I’ll be able to play it on my television (see point #2). I get the funny feeling that buying the video from the Globe means you still get to log back into the Globe site, check out your account, and watch your videos from there.
Has anybody plonked down some money yet and taken this one for a spin? What do you think? What did you rent?