Suicidal Vongo: "V"ideo Downloads "on" the "go"

Suicidal Vongo: "V"ideo Downloads "on" the "go"

Vongo is going to commit suicide. Yup. They are headed for the hangman's noose. As of this writing, their future is as bright as were the video disk players from the early 1980s. What do they have in common? Small video libraries. Now Vongo has announced it has 2200 titles, and you may say, "But Dr. Bruce, isn't that a LOT of titles?" My response: what are your 10 favorite movies (which is almost impossible for any of us to really list)? For me, there are titles such as "The Best Years of Our Lives" (1945, I believe), "The Natural," "Wizard of Oz," and most Woody Allen movies (yes, I'm sorry he offended society by marrying his former adopted step-daughter, but that doesn't change my enjoyment of seeing his character's lives far worse off than mine--hence, the cathartic attraction). So I hear about Vongo and its 2200 titles and think "Wow, that is a LOT of movies!" right before I said "wait, that's ALL?" In my mind I picture downloading from an ocean of titles. And so will everyone else. Vongo's own web site fesses up to the clever reader: "A Vongo Membership allows its members access to a library of over 2,000 titles that include new releases bonus materials, action sports, music and films released in the IMAX format, as well as great movies from the last 40 years." Source: http://www.vongo.com/ accessed 12 December 2006.

To make my point more poignant, of the 2200 titles, in my case take out the chick flicks right off the bat, then take out most of the Schwarzenegger and friends "blow them away" titles, and, sadly, Hallmark Hall of Fame movies (they really aren't that good, I've come to realize, since they got their own channel). What 85% of the population will find is that of those 2200 titles, there may be 25 or so they really like, and because they really like them, they already own them on disc or VHS. So what are we left with? Starz. OK, good, I can have Starz-on-demand, right? RIGHT? In either case, you can see that while Vongo might wow the engineers in its presentations (and my guess is that they'd fall asleep because this isn't rocket science, especially to an audience of engineers) it has very little to offer on the content side.

Remember that old adage from the dot com bomb? It's the content, stupid. How true. So while the experts at the market research firms in the NE USA and Carmel, California (you know who you are and you had better QUOTE ME if I see statements taken from this blog), crank out the highly optimistic forecasts for Vongo, the lucky decision makers will have found this post.

By the way, more power to Vongo. I want folks like this to succeed. I want there to be lots of players and competition. But even 10,000 titles may not be enough. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it, (You've probably heard the tangled "Those who forget history are bound to repeat it," but the former is the real quote from Georgia Santayana, who probably would hold off on subscribing to Vongo after reading this).

Remember, you read it here first.

You may use this content (better still, argue with me!), but please cite my ideas as © 2006, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein. Find any typos! Don't smite me, let me know!


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