I watch a lot of television. I see a lot of movies. I listen to a lot of music.
Access to that content in a place-shifted and time-shifted world has only increased the amount I spend with media.
I subscribe to Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify. I rent stuff off of iTunes. Use Amazon Instant Video's Prime Access. I use tons of "TV Everywhere" apps from HBOGO to Showtime Anytime. I rarely buy (though looks like I'll be buying Thom Yorke stuff for a while), but then again, I believe we will live in a future of access not ownership.
Most of these products deliver their content via streaming
As my friend, Bob Lefsetz, recently said: "Streaming won."
Of course, streaming requires that you have a really fast mobile connection or wi-fi. And whether you believe it or not, we don't live in a completely wi-fi world yet. Data connections, while getting better, can be shotty depending on where you are: Try making a phone call or getting a data connection reliably on where I spend weekends, it will make you grind your molars. Oh, poor me, I know. #firstworldproblems.
That said, I love my tv, movies and music and want them when I want them.
My music service Spotify has a content sync functionality that deals with this issue. I choose the songs, playlists or albums I want synced offline, and when I'm taking my morning walk (where I think a lot and make mental lists of those that wronged me), the tracks don't cut out because of AT&T: "The nation’s fastest 4G LTE network. All backed by our 100% dedication to quality and service."
Simple. Easy. Totally useful.
I travel a lot. I am on a plane constantly. Gogo Inflight internet is great for e-mail, not awesome for web and non-existent for streaming media. It is getting better, but I have to download before I board to watch up in the air. Just one use case.
I want the ability to sync the movies or tv I want to watch within Netflix or Hulu (or any service) for mobile usage when I don't have good coverage or none at all. I would even pay extra if I had to. And don't give me content protection excuses. It's relatively simple.
When speaking to my friends at these services the answers are:
- Not worth it, mobile connections and wi-fi will get better before we can get rights
- Users have't asked for it
- Just another set of rights we need to get and it can be cost-prohibitive
And content guys?
- They can't stand rental
- Want us to buy more
- Haven't totally accepted the access economy as they speak of revenues past
Downloading is dying, "streaming won", and yet we are in a no man's land of not always being connected (at least for bandwidth hogging media).
"In a world" (say it in a movie trailer voice) where I have to watch live TV, use a DVR, multiple VOD services and my Slingbox to get all the video I want: if I could have just one functionality it would be offline syncing of selected video content.
So, Netlfix, Hulu, HBO, Amazon, Showtime and others, whaddya say?