Staying on the movie theme for today. Congrats to who are apparently going into movie downloads as well as DVD distribution via post. Been thinking about a bit of late, mainly because they came along and offered some wonderful goodybag vouchers at the blog awards as well as 30! dvd players too. DVDs by post is a new enough concept in Ireland but it seems to be doing very well in the States, probably because of having so many armed postmen or something. I heard they shoot to kill if you try and rob them.

DVD rentals, a la NetFlix. So isn’t the core business of to keep people indoors? Are their main competitors the cinemas and the pubs? Possibly not the cinemas and maybe not the pub either. Are RTE and Sky competitors I wonder? Maybe every one of the above is a competitor and maybe an ally too.

None of my business, but…
What would I do with Not that it’s any of my business but I’d definitely set up a group blog and ask some of the totally obsessive movie bloggers to come on board and blog every now and then about DVDs that are in the Moviestar catalog. There are gems in there, even for the movie fascists some of us are. A blog is good for generating a little interest and a good bit of Google rankings to draw people in. What else can be done though?

Complimentary to our lives
Well I think could compliment life with sets of DVDs. Christmas movies around .. Christmas. Romance movies around Valentine’s, the best of horror around Halloween. Getting me? Movie marathons. Box sets and weekend long marathons of TV shows are the norm now, so why not exploit it? Don’t send a single DVD but a whole set. What about tie-ins with cinemas and upcoming movies? An example? Well how about watching all of the existing Rambo movies before watching the latest in the cinema? Same for Rocky, Die Hard etc. etc. Sequels could be a great business. Birthday party DVD specials too for kids. Imagine having a personal shopper for movies or a bluffers guide to gangster movies, cowboy movies etc.?

DVDs and cinemas compliment each other in my view. Perhaps there could be tie-ins with the cinemas with cross-promotions for upcoming movies or maybe with the movie distributors themselves since there’s an existing relationship. It would pay for distributors to do something like this with Moviestar to boost an upcoming film. Sequel out, get Moviestar to promote the previous movies and do offers for people to watch them. Build some hype. Then there’s the offies. Get the beer, the chips and the Evil Dead movies. Or the superhero collection. Corona and a cowboy movie or two.

I love the idea of social objects and creating something that could gather people around to enjoy their time together. Whether it be to act as ambassadors or just community building.

Any other “none of our business, but” suggestions?

15 Responses to “ moments”

  1. Johnny K says:

    It’s not that new a concept. I’ve joined (now in May 2003, that’s almost 5 years ago.

  2. Smoke says:

    As a onetime customer of one of their competitors, I can say with this business it’s all about service, service, service. They need an extensive catalog of movies – hits and classics and the oddball stuff that never got a proper distribution and which is hard to find in the local xtravision. Also, their operations needs to be very finely tuned with quick turnaround of returned dvds. While they’re somewhat at the mercy of An Post, they cannot afford to piss off their customers who live in the sticks (i.e. outside Dublin) who might have to add an extra two or more days to the turnaround cycle between dvds. Getting both of these right – and at the proper pricepoint – and they’ll have no problem attracting and keeping customers.

  3. Adam says:

    You’ve pretty much touched on the idea yourself but it would be cool if had a kind of “critic’s choice” (or actor’s or director’s choice for that matter) package for customers.

    The idea would be that you sign up to a package only knowing that it promises, say 4, DVDs a month which are hand-picked by a respected Irish movie critic, an actor or a director.

    The expert picking the titles could be a resident selector (so a critic paid a monthly fee for their input – probably easiest for or it could be a revolving system where it’s a special guest each month. The package arrives at your door at the start of every month, with details of who picked the dvds and why, and you have the entire month to watch and return the DVDs – after which the next package arrives.

    It would be a kind of lucky dip situation, except it would be a little bit less than random. There’s obviously the possibility of people getting DVDs they already have/have seen but that’s part of the risk and if they’re good enough to be recommended by an expert then they’re good enough to watch again (besides, I have loads of DVDs I’ve only watched once that I should really watch again – maybe if it turned up on my doorstep as recommended by an expert it would spur me on to actually sit down and watch it again like I’d been promising myself).

    Thinking really outside the box, could take on a social media-like set up where people using the system could catalogue their likes, dislikes, what they’ve seen and what they want to see… they could also set up their only monthly “choice” package which their friends could sign up to… just imagine if you could just have arrange to send your friends the classic films you love, rather than having to pester them into going out and getting it for themselves all the time!

    Members could get a small commission for each person that signs up to their “choice” package (say €1 off their fee per month per user) and it could turn into a little business for people who gained a good reputation as reliable movie buffs.

  4. pat phelan says:

    Do a deal with Conor, Ambassadors get 5 free rentals a month, they must review on LouderVoice Moviestar landing page.
    create mini landing pages for each movie and voucher codes if you agree to review the movie

  5. John B says:

    Personally I think the most important thing (once you get people to join etc) is paying a bit more heed to the rental queue. I never get any from my top 10 preferences and always get the ones at the end that “I kind of want to see at some stage but only after I’ve seen all those others in my top ten”. I know lots of people have left because of that. Of course I don’t know what the solution is except maybe that as they get bigger they can get the stock in.

  6. […] DVD rental by post; Ireland’s answer to Netflix. It’s none of my business but, if everything is done through their website, then step 1 is to make a website that […]

  7. Ben says:

    Have to say i wasnt too hot on the availability of the choice when i signed up last year. Unless your paying top whack and getting the 3 discs at a time it just amounts to getting 2 discs a month, well it did for me anyways and sure for the price i could’ve gotten a new rental from Xtravision.

    I would defo be interested in reviewing free dvd’s from and would link whore them to bits 😉


  8. Justin Mason says:

    so the downloads will be DRMed, and from a limited set of providers — not exactly competitive vs. torrents. Shame.

  9. “it would be cool if had a kind of “critic’s choice” (or actor’s or director’s choice for that matter) package for customers.”

    Difficult to see how this would work for directors if they only stock 4 Bergman films, 2 Pasolini films, 1 Antonioni film, 2 Fellini films, 2 Fassbinder films, 4 Herzog films, and that’s just the really big name European directors of the past 50 years. One Kiarostami? No Ozu or Mizoguchi? I’m not signing up to any service like this until they’re properly stocked. What the hell happened to the Long Tail?? These services tend to be no better than xtravision or chartbusters in their selection. Bah!

    “They need an extensive catalog of movies – hits and classics and the oddball stuff that never got a proper distribution and which is hard to find in the local xtravision.”

    Precisely! I want to pull out anime films

  10. Conor Byrne says:

    I think there are some great ideas here but I think they need to get some basics sorted first.

    I had a brief relationship with moviestar and it just wasn’t working out. I decided to call it a day. When leaving I was very honest about what I felt.

    To my shock, the entire process and all follow ups were completly automated!

    What is that about. Not once did anyone try get in touch, and I said I’d like to hear from them, to see if we could patch things up.

    Moviestar, look after your customers, those that are with you, and talk to those that leave, even if you don’t save the relationship, you might learn something and make your service better?

  11. Pat’s right, there are lots of complementary things that could happen between LouderVoice and Moviestar. What we’re just about to launch at the minute could be very interesting there. Stay tuned.

    Now back to watching the DVD of TMNT that arrived from them today!

  12. Johnny K says:

    Good stuff Conor. BTW, my nephews and I love TMNT.

  13. Paul says:

    my two cents..

    Movies are a passion for people and a real conversation starter – so would feel like there are loads of opportunities here. I didn’t see much interaction on the site. I saw a 5-star rating but think you have to be a member to add a review. Pity.

    I like Amazon’s listmania. Something like this could be an easy win.

    Also, would be nice if they got a list of bloggers that are love movies, and gave them free dvds rentals on condition they blog reviews about the movie (not necessarily about moviestar) and get a bit of online conversation about movies in general.

  14. Paul Sweeney says:

    Both Pat and Conor beat me to the punch with regards listings of movies and reviews. Complete no-brainer. Conor could even just release a special move review widget for them and be deeply integrated. Next point: get the basics right (HT “Smoke” above). I signed up for the free intro offer about a month or so ago, and yip, got the “last movie” in the que. Need a better way to close the gap between the dvd arriving back at the warehouse and the next dvd to arrive at the customer’s house. This is a logistics gap that may be surrmounted by giving the customer some trust: why not sms MovieStar and tell them “you’ve just posted it” hey use LouderVoice SMS “MovieStar Return”: then automatically send out next in que. You can build a profile of how trustworthy their word is pretty quickly. Next, send sms to the person who is holding the DVD “too long” when it becomes obvious that this film is going to be needed by the next person: its a simple nudge, asking people to be good moviestar community members. Next, Make it Local: if I like “Wings of Desire” and similar movies, chances are, I could talk movies, and swap recommendations with this person. eh hum, we could also route movies between us a lot faster (i.e. plan the logistics of sharing). Having been local, and found local people, you can then “re-sell their attention” to movie distributors etc, by issuing “advance ticket offers” to local cinema opening nights, etc. etc. So (1) Get better quality suggestions going through recommendation, (2) Get better logistics of delivery through messaging (3) Build community (4) Get Local.

  15. […] Mulley mentions that are planning to offer downloadable movies. Great concept, but I can guarantee the […]