Service will shut down as another on-demand company folds
Another supposed Netflix killer has given up. Target is ending its attempt to enter the on demand movie business. That’s two on-demand services up in smoke in less than 12 months, the other of course being Red Box Instant. If you do not recall, Redbox Instant was going to “kill” Netflix by letting people drive to their kiosks for 4 movies a month and offering a tiny group streaming tittles most of which were also found on Netflix. But this is not really about Netflix. No on-demand service can compete with Netflix for eyes because Netflix operates as a channel while on-demand PPV services are stores. It is really no different than expecting Red Box to beat NBC. It would cost someone 4 times as much as a monthly Netflix account to watch the last season of Breaking Bad by purchasing each episode separately. And the market for on demand TV shows also includes Hulu and Hulu Plus, which allow users to see a majority of the most popular shows on television one day later. Even with Target on the way out there are too many on-demand video stores but there is probably enough room for the big three.
The Big Three of On Demand
There are a couple of big players in the on-demand video market and a bunch of others trying to fight for relevancy. But the truth is the Apple, Amazon and Google Play suck most of the air out of the room when it comes to on-demand attention. Their platforms are integrated in to their own branded screens. Unfortunately for almost everyone else besides Netflix people are not looking to add an extra video app that has essentially the same movie or TV show selection, especially if it means taking up more memory on a limited tablet or phone, having to register, get more junk mail /spam, navigating a new pay structure and so on. And these upstarts give new users very little incentive to do so. Target ticket advertised free movie rentals for new customers and then proceeded to try to entice people with titles like Cocoon 2 or Big Trouble in Little China. Target was fishing with rubber worms with that offer and consumers did not bite. Wal-Mart is desperately trying to get people to use Vudu to the point of releasing its own dongle with just Vudu included on it.
Let the Countdown Begin
Time is running out for the rest of the services. And the clock will likely strike midnight when Showtime and HBO establish streaming only channels. If they are priced well people will use one service or another to access their fill of new releases and likely continue to turn to the services they already have at their fingertips for the rest.