John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Amazon Announces Video Service You May Actually Want to Use

About the best thing to be said about Amazon Unbox, the mediocre, odiously restrictive, video download service the retailer launched last year, is that it was … er … Windows-only, I guess. Which, obviously isn’t saying much. Amazon (AMZN), of course, knows this better than anyone. Which is why the company is enhancing Unbox with a new video store that its customers may actually want to use. Called Amazon Video on Demand, the store streams movies and television programs just like a cable video-on-demand service. “For the first time, this is drop-dead simple,” Bill Carr, Amazon’s vice president for digital media told The New York Times (NYT). “Our goal is to create an immersive experience where people can’t help but get caught up in how exciting it is to simply watch a movie right from Amazon.com with a click of the button.”

Ah, one-click cinema. Seems that Amazon’s finally realized that there simply aren’t enough media junkies to support the download model it embraced with Unbox. “The people who pay to download video are extreme media-philes,” Forrester (FORR) analyst James McQuivey told Variety last year. “They are not the tip of an iceberg. They may grow their own spending, but there aren’t many people like that left. In the video space, iTunes (AAPL) is just a temporary flash while consumers wait for better ways to get video. They’re already coming.”


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Nobody was excited about paying top dollar for a movie about WikiLeaks. A film about the origins of Pets.com would have done better.

— Gitesh Pandya of BoxOfficeGuru.com comments on the dreadful opening weekend box office numbers for “The Fifth Estate.”