Is the pay-per-download model dead?

Josh Chandler · July 17, 2008 · Short URL:

With Amazon Unbox reverting to a streaming video service, is the concept of pay-per-download dead?


Digital Digital wrote an article today discussing how Amazon Unbox is reverting a streaming video service instead of a pay-per-download method. It seems although this model hasn't worked for Amazon, it is still working for the likes of iTunes with its music, music video and game downloads.

But the one thing I want to find out is whether video has a different model to  audio and if the pay-per-download model is dead!

The iTunes monster (Pay-per-download model)

The latest figures coming out from Cupertino about how many songs were being download from the iTunes store was 5 billion as of June 2008. That's for songs which are a pay-per-download model where people pay for the download, put it in their iTunes library and then sync it to their iPod. As iTunes got close to 1 billion downloaded songs they ran the competiton to win some Apple products.

I wouldn't have naturally said they were feeling bullish at that time, but for any digital media company it's an astounding figure worth celebrating, this pay per download model is still effective throughout the entire music collection although if companies such as gain enough traction then Apple may seriously consider music streaming over the web. 

The Amazon Unbox Store (Original Pay Per Download Model) ]

Before Amazon decided to revert to the streaming movies model today, it's official launch in 2006 was marred by scatching reviews of the system, with some saying that it was slow, expensive and restrictive on what the consumer could do with the video which at the time was just the same model as everyone else so I do think Amazon got incorrectly accused for that!

Amazon of late have been moving towards the streaming model with partnerships with companies such as Tivo, NBC and AOL. Of course two of the three companies are now trying to do their own service, Tivo has even recently teamed up with YouTube to send their content network onto Tivo boxes and NBC are running So Amazon is obviously left picking up the loose ends on that matter, it has however been promising to see the movie studio support for the system .

Although I suspect this move into streaming movies is coming from studio pressure particulary with iTunes doing so well with it's movie rental service. And this brings me to my ultimate question of the article, does the pay-per-download model not work with Amazon Unbox because its video or will audio follow the same route?










Support VatorNews by Donating

Read more from our "Trends and news" series

More episodes