I was very excited to watch the new Steven Soderbergh film, The Girlfriend Experience. I wrote a blog post about Sasha Grey being in the film a while back. I thought it was great that Soderbergh and Mark Cuban were innovated enough to release the film on VOD before the theatrical release. But innovative doesn’t always transfer to tech savvy.
The problem with watching The Girlfriend Experience on VOD is that most people won’t have the technology to play this, even (actually, especially) those of us who are early adopters.
As most people know, I’m a Mac user. I loath Windows and all that it stands for. I’m also a DirecTV user. I hate cable companies and all they stand for. Maybe it seems snobby, but it’s the technology I prefer, and I’m not alone. I’m willing to bet that most people who love movies are on DirecTV. I’m also guessing DirecTV has a more affluent customer base than cable.
And as for the Mac, Microsoft brags about the fact that Apple has a more affluent customer base. And everyone knows that Apple users are much earlier adopters of technology, and download media a lot more than your standard PC user.
So you would assume that Cuban and Soderbergh would make sure to get this thing in the hands of us smart, early adopting, movie loving people. Nope. From what I can tell, and I had to do a lot of searching just to find this out, you can only get The Girlfriend Experience through VOD on Amazon or Comcast!
I love Amazon, I really do. Their customer service is second to none, and I love my Kindle. But trying to watch a movie through their service is torture. You either have to have some sort of dedicated device, or spend some time messing with your XBox through Window. Amazon is simply not a Mac friendly VOD provider.
And don’t even get me started on Comcast, the enemy of tech people all over the country. They just suck, and everyone knows that. Everyone except Mark Cuban I guess.
So why would they snub Apple when millions of people can, and do, download right through iTunes? Why snub DirecTV when it clearly has the best HD options, including HDNet? And even more of a mystery, why snub Netflix streaming service (I have that through my DVD player, and it’s fantastic) when it has such a growing user base, and Netflix is so supportive of independent films?
Clearly there is some business politics behind the scenes if they don’t want to let Apple carry this, and that’s a shame. The only thing this does is stop people from seeing the film, and the company from making money. Mark Cuban might want to re-think his VOD ideas if he plans on making money from it.