Overdrive and Baker & Taylor are both working on new streaming movie service for libraries. The two companies are working on different solutions to deliver HD movies and eventually television shows to any library that does business with them. The new service should be launched by the end of the year and will be viewable over the web and within their official apps.
Overdrive confirmed with Good e-Reader at the American Library Association 2013 conference that they have struck a deal with Criterion Pictures USA to have have a number of movies in their catalog from studios they represent. Currently, Overdrive is in negotiations with other studios and companies to bring hundreds of movies into their system.
Baker and Taylor also confirmed their movie streaming service is also in development but have not divulged what studios they have signed up or their overall business model.
Axis 360 and Overdrive both have a ton of work ahead of themselves to iron out the logistics of their streaming movie platforms. Both companies have mentioned that they are internally trying to figure out a sustainable business model. Likely, we will see a combination of a monthly subscription package, that is similar to Netflix to deliver movies. There will also be a tiered pricing structure for first and second run movies. Also, they are working out the actual streaming delivery methods and trying to enhance their servers to accommodate the load. You have to figure the bandwidth for delivering eBooks is quite low, but once thousands of people are trying to watch a movie, things can get tricky.
One of the interesting facets of the Overdrive initiative is that they are debating the ‘pay per view’ model. They might offer big events like UFC, WWE and movies that just hit the cinema or on their way out.
Libraries that do business with Overdrive and Baker and Taylor both enjoy audiobooks, eBooks, and other multimedia content. The main reason they are launching the new video service is to cut down on stolen DVD videos and normal wear and tear. Most of the time, in order to check out a DVD, you have to take an empty box to the librarian and they have to manually fetch the video. Smaller libraries can’t really afford an extensive collection and often cannot compete with the larger ones. The streaming video service aims to make movies and educational videos more accessible over the internet and cuts down on actual staff doing the grunt work.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.