Sometimes you stumble on a site that you love, but you just won’t use. SmartFlix is one of these. While the idea of a site dedicated to technical videos is fantastic, I’m just not sure it’s a sustainable business model. Not that I would use it anyway.
According to compete.com, they get around 30,000 uniques a month, which isn’t half bad for a thing like this. I’ve got an email out to the guys who run the site, trying to determine how many of those people actually rent the DVDs. My feeling is that the number is rather low. I don’t see why else the prices would be so high. For an Instructional Video on Piloting, you’ll have to spend ten dollars for a week. While that’s ninety-nine dollars less than the sale price of said flight manual, I’m sure you’ll need more than seven days to actually digest the information. At least I hope so.
All I have to do is read the about section of their site.
“SmartFlix is a service that rents video DVDs – just like your corner video store… “
This is a problem. With the advent of Netflix, and accessible Online video, the corner store is going out of business, and for good reason. The idea of paying for individual videos, or paying anywhere near the price Smartflix is asking, is ridiculous. If they were on Netflix radar, they’d soon be swatted like a fly. The people who own the licenses on the videos would jump at the opportunity to be added to the queue, and soon SmartFlix would be just another nice idea in a mean economy.
Admittedly, I find many of the videos interesting, and I’ve even suggested the site to family members. All of those family members quickly turned around and asked me to find these same videos online for free, or asked if they exist on Netflix. Well, I’m not going to look up nearly six thousand videos on Netflix, but the ones I check did not exist, so at least they have that going for them. I still don’t see people using the site.
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