Universal Idiots To Offer Download-To-Gouge Movie Service

Universal Pictures is launching a download-to-own service where you can legally download movies like King Kong on to your computer for the low, low price of thirty-five dollars.


Dear Universal — are you out of your fucking gourds? Thirty-five dollars? That costs more than heroin.

What a sound strategy to discourage rampant movie piracy: gouge your legitimate customers.

Coming soon: Download-to-own films [CNN]


Edit Your Comment

  1. ValkRaider says:

    I think the $35 is not a terrible price, considering you get the DVD as well as two download formats. But I probably would have gone more for $25 had I been in charge…

    The funniest part is this:
    “Security measures will make it impossible to e-mail the film to somebody else.”

    where: “impossible” = “anyone who can google will be able to find the hack”

    The bigger issue is file size – you can’t just email a 500MB movie. ;) You have to actually use some other form of sharing…

  2. Mr. Moto says:

    $35 and 40 minutes to an hour to down load a movie that is also released on DVD at the same time? Probably for $19? Makes no since. Should price at about $10 since cutting out production and distribution costs, cutting out the retailer profit and placing the burden of the file space on the consumer. I guess this is more of a trial run at that price.

  3. Papercutninja says:

    hahahahahahah. Movie studios are once again proving how irrelevant and out of touch they are with the public. Sure the remake of “Welcome Back Kotter” starring Ice Cube is a GREAT idea. Then they go and blame “piracy” for their dwindling profits. How about you stop making shit-ass movies? Didya think of that idea? Didya? No? Then stop blaming internet downloads for your lessened paycheck.

  4. Juancho says:

    It’s going to be $14.99-20.00 on DVD, depending on where you shop and which edition you want.

    The download price could be a way to say, “See, we offered it legally and you preferred pirating!” With the price and download times, who wants to purchase this?

  5. Juancho says:

    BTW, love the Frazetta image.

  6. As someone already mentioned, you get the DVD, too, so it’s not exactly like paying $35 for a low-res copy for your computer.

    What really sucks about this is that they use Microsoft’s DRM and, I suspect in consequence, Windows Media, aka the Suckiest Format Ever.

  7. KevinQ says:

    At $35, its not going to be that much more expensive than what Sony wants to charge for Blue-ray disks. If the movies are full HD quality and come with the extras of the retail version, its not that bad of a deal.

    But if they’re charging me $35 for a tv-quality version with no extras, then I agree with Juancho that it’s a ruse to convince themselves that consumers don’t really want to purchase downloaded movies.


  8. ValkRaider says:

    How long does it take to rip a DVD to a computer and put it into a watchable format?

    A 40 minute download is not really that bad – especially since it uses little processor time and can be done in the background while you are doing other things…

  9. AcidReign says:

    …..Unless it’s a collectors edition, or a whole season of some lame TV show, no one’s going to pay $35 to download a movie! Here’s an idea: buy the movie for less than 20 bucks, then Google DeCSS, and store it on your hard drive in whatever format you want!

  10. Papercutninja says:

    I think you’re sorta missing the point. It’s not the download speed at all. The download service costs about $35. You pay for it, download the movie and you get a hard copy in the mail, as well as another digital copy for your portable device.

    Now, why would anyone pay $35 for something that they could buy for $20 or less and RIP IT (LEGALLY) THEMSELVES FOR FREE? This is probably the most retarded business models ever devised.

    Imagine if a music store (B&M) charged you $30 for a CD, but you also get a digital copy for your portable device. It doesn’t make any sort of business sense. Why would you pay for that “service” when it can be done for free at home?

    For INSTANCE, Amazon is pre-selling the King Kong DVD for $19.99. That’s it. I would buy it and rip it to my computer (if i wanted to watch it that way) for NO ADDITIONAL COST. Why the fuck would i pay $35 for the SAME FUCKING THING?!?

  11. Because there are a whole hell of a lot of people out there who have more disposable income than computer skills, maybe? What people on internet forums tend to forget is that they tend to be in the minority whenever it comes to things related to technology. Most people, including those who have a faint desire to be able to watch films on their computers / portable media players, couldn’t convert a DVD to another format if their lives depended on it. The money/effort ratio involved means it isn’t worth it to most people. It’s like the old buying a computer versus building your own argument. You might “save” money on the parts, but in the end most people’s time is much more valuable than what they pay the PC manufacturers for a ready-made machine. Would I pay an extra fifteen bucks to get a downloadable copy of a film? Nope. Am I in the majority on this? Probably not.

  12. ValkRaider says:

    Now I do think that $35 is too high. Like I said before, $25 would be a good price point.

    Lets split the difference and say $30.

    Would $10 for two different digital versions of the movie in a completely legal, easy, and not process intensive way be a good price?


    I have known about good DeCSS programs for years. (Although they are good and free, the programs to re-compress to another DVD for “copying” are not free nor as easy to use). But I have never once ripped a DVD.

    I really have no reason to. But I might start for flights – rip a movie to my hard disk just for the flight. But ripping a movie takes a while, and it takes up a LOT of hard disk space.

    I think that they are testing the waters and proving out the technology.

    I thought people wouldn’t buy iPods either – and look where that went. So I bet this will take off slowly, but the prices drop and availability increase with time…

  13. OkiMike says:

    There’s a helluva lot of technology out there. Ditto for various media formats. What a company needs to do is stick with one, like iTunes did, and market the hell out of it. It’s not enough to “try” it because the consumer will notice the difference.

    Of course, this seems impossible for Universal because they’ve got their underwear on backwards.