Way back in February, web retail giant Amazon entered the video download marketplace through a partnership with Tivo. Under the initial terms of that partnership, customers could go to Amazon.com, buy a feature video on the website and designate some combination of devices to download and watch the movie on. Downloads took about an hour (over average broadband connections).
Tuesday morning, Amazon and Tivo announced an improvement to the initial offering with a new version branded “Buy on TV.” This second generation Unbox video offering will bypass the computer. Now, subscribers will be able to buy movies with their TiVo remote controls – no computer needed.
The films will download to the customers TiVo (Series 2 or Series 3 models) Digital Video Recorders. As before, the service will rely on the customers broadband Internet connection (which will likely irk many of the broadband cable Internet Service Providers who sell competing Video on Demand services through the cable set-top box)
Amazon and Tivo’s measurable market opportunity is large; limited primarily by the volume of appropriate TiVo units in use. According to informa, the market for downloaded TV and Movie content projected to rise to more than $3.9b by 2012 in the US. And with approximately 70% of Americans using the Internet at home equipped with a broadband (high speed) connection (according to the Pew Internet Life Project), bandwidth will not be a gating factor.
Films from several major Hollywood Studios including Warner Brothers, Universal, Paramount and Sony will be available.