Real and Starz launch a subscription service for films over the Net:
"...During viewing, movies downloaded from the Starz service will fill the entire screen of a computer monitor - a sharp improvement over the postcard-size pictures initially offered by online news and music video services. A technically adept user could also wire a computer that contains the downloaded movie to a television set for viewing.
But the picture quality is not as high as that of a cable pay-per-view movie, nor is the service as convenient. Digital cable services offer an increasing number of movies on demand, while downloading a movie takes 10 to 30 minutes, depending on connection speeds. Still, Rob Glaser, the chief executive of Real, argues that the wait beats driving to the video store."
Is this going anywhere? Not unless they can seriously compete with cable-on-demand - whose pricing structure is idiotic, but which offers a far superior experience.
And, last but not least, here's someone else who's (finally) figured out that microsubscriptions are economically far superior to microgoods.
"...the per-song services have gross margins of 10 percent to 15 percent, compared with 40 percent to 50 percent margins for subscription services, said Richard Wolpert, Real's chief strategic officer."