Movie Downloads Still Half-Baked

Like a Perdue Oven Stuffer Roaster with an unpopped plastic thermometer, downloads are still a half-baked method of movie delivery, according to a recent survey.

Dallas-based TDG interviewed 1975 consumers for a pricey research product. According a pie chart--continuing the baking metaphor, to our delight--the proportion of consumers currently downloading movies is just 9.5 percent. Another 36.8 percent are familiar with movie downloads but not actively involved. The largest share, 53.7 percent, are not familiar with movie downloads.

What do consumers want? For starters, "a strong library of content." Convenience also matters: "the ability to view movie downloads on any TV in the home is of critical importance."

However, TDG deflated some other much-hyped ideas. Viewing on cell phones is "not in and of itself a compelling attribute," despite the claims of some analysts and pundits.

Interactivity is prized by only 28 percent of adult broadband users and even that figure may be on the high side. TDG commented: "While current users rank the importance of customization and interactivity notably higher than average adult broadband users, they are no doubt early adopters and thus more likely to demand high levels of customization and interactivity. Bringing an OMD service to the mass market, however, requires that the complexity associated with such applications be masked behind easy-to-use, intuitive interfaces and guides."

If this research is any indication, movie downloads are a big yawn to consumers and the attributes that would change our minds have yet to fall into place. There seems to be a big opportunity for a high-def movie delivery medium with a strong library of content, the ability to play on any TV, and an easy-to-use interface. Leading candidates: Blu-ray and VOD. Assuming, of course, that the price is right. Sony and cable ops, your move.