Video downloading in Australia sucks. We used to have Reeltime, but through a combination of factors it went bust. That leaves BigPond, which unless you're prepared to pay for Telstra's exorbitant broadband fees, just isn't worth the money.
A glimmer of hope was announced yesterday, with EzyDVD planning on launching a download service called EzyDownload in September this year. It will use the infrastructure left in place with the demise of Reeltime, but improved to work better.
They've also announced that they're working with ISPs around Australia to have their movie downloads counted outside of the cap limit, ensuring that customers don't have to pay twice for the same thing, which is one of the benefits of BigPond Movies for Telstra broadband users.
Of course, the biggest question will be surrounding content - they claim they'll have stuff from major Hollywood studios, independents and music companies for both download-to-rent and download-to-own. Having a decent library of titles will be imperative to success, as will price, which hasn't been announced yet.
The full press release is below the fold. We've got our fingers crossed that this will be the start of something good...
19th June 2008
EzyDVD to launch download movie service EzyDownload
EzyDVD, Australia's largest online DVD store, has confirmed this week that it will
be launching a movie download service, EzyDownload.
EzyDVD founder Jim Zavos, said this week that EzyDownload.com.au would
launch in September and that the business has been actively under
development since February this year.
Zavos founded the now $100 million plus EzyDVD empire in 1999. EzyDVD has
grown to become the most popular DVD website in Australia, receiving 12% of all
DVD related internet traffic, double the next most popular website JB-HiFi,
according to Hitwise Australia.
EzyDVD is widely regarded by the industry as the ideal business to challenge
Telstra's Bigpond movie download service. EzyDVD has over 35,000 daily visitors
and 220,000 active subscribers and is the largest online DVD retailer in Australia.
Currently, EzyDVD has 68 stores across the country and a 25% growth rate in sales
over the last 12 months.
Zavos explained that, "EzyDVD is building a one-stop, online entertainment portal
in EzyDownload, with content from major Hollywood studios, independents and
music companies, offering legal download-to-rent and download-to-own
options. EzyDownload's content will be extensive including latest releases and
classic movies, TV shows, music concerts, sports, documentaries and special
interest programs. And we will be the only Australian movie download company
offering a DTO service."
EzyDVD is a pioneer in DVD sales and believes that internet downloading is the
future and has fully backed and funded EzyDownload, which it will operate as a
tightly integrated service. To jump start its venture, it has acquired the assets of
download pioneer, Reeltime and employed some key technical staff.
"Reeltime really were pioneers in downloading and were probably a little too
ahead of their time," said Zavos. The key distinction between Reeltime and
EzyDownload is EzyDVD's quality studio relationships, its leading website
presence and customer base and its track record in building these
entertainment related businesses.
"We have an excellent management team and can run the new download
service at a much lower cost base than ReelTime in terms of staffing and
hardware, software and service contracts. EzyDownload is implementing a new
technical infrastructure that leverages advances in networking technology and
provides a more user friendly interface sourced by a new Download Service
Provider to that used by Reeltime.
Zavos has also confirmed that EzyDownload is partnering with ISPs around the
country to promote "no cap limit" downloading. "This will give Australians access
to extensive content at fair prices, from the convenience of their homes, and
without the incremental telco toll charge that only digital downloading pirates
will pay," continued Zavos.
Outside of Telstra, the ISP community represents roughly 60% of broadband
connections in Australia and over 2.5 million homes with connectivity of at least
Jim Zavos is Director of EzyDownload and has appointed highly successful
internet entrepreneur Andrew Wilshire as CEO of EzyDownload.
Wilshire has been involved in a number of successful IT and internet start-ups over
the last 20 years and is a big believer in the future of downloading. In 2006,
Massive Incorporated, a business Wilshire founded in New York in 1998, was sold
to Microsoft for over $250 million. As a major investor in Reeltime personally,
Wilshire briefly took up the role of interim CEO of Reeltime from November 07 to
EzyDVD was at the forefront of the DVD revolution in Australia and has sold over
25 million DVDs, and are once again set to lead the Australian entertainment
industry in the legal movie download revolution.