Pricing for AOL Movie Downloads

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 24, 2006
Updated • May 15, 2013

Aol will offer movie and TV show downloads produced by Paramount Pictures on  the company's new video portal. Downloads will be available for prices ranging from $9.99 to $19.99 which suggests that most users will be quite unhappy with the pricing. Amazon Unbox and Apple's iTunes are offering downloads in the same price category and every other portal will most likely follow this pricing schemes as well.

The question that may come to a lot of minds is the following: Why would anyone buy a movie for $19.99 online and face additional restrictions like drm, copy protection and limited use if they could also buy the same movie at the same time in a normal store and receive a case, a DVD and a booklet on top of it.

You may also take the DVD, visit a friend and watch the movie on their DVD player without issues. You may face troubles with services like Unbox that make it impossible to burn files on DVD to play in a DVD player to watch the movies on the big television in your living room.

I have another question: Why are they pricing the items that high? Is it because of the entertainment companies that produces the movies who want a large share of the earnings or are the portals themselves responsible for this irrational pricing?

Why would anyone pay more than a few dollars for a crippled movie that they probably can't even play in a DVD player? Isn't it kinda strange that some people still buy those items even though they come with all those restrictions?

I decided to ignore any movie portal for the moment. If one would emerge that would offer movie downloads in DVD quality for half the price of the DVD I would consider it; if they do not cripple the functionality to burn the file on DVD and watch it on my DVD player. Did you buy a movie from such a service? What is your experience?

Update: AOL seems to have changed the portal. It does not seem to offer movies or videos anymore that you can purchase. Instead, it offers a mixture of original series, shows and clips that you can watch right on the portal.


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  1. Manager Assistant said on October 26, 2006 at 6:44 pm

    I agree, 20 bucks for a drm movie? Why? The only people i could see using this are people who are about to go on a road trip and are taking their laptop and want a movie for the road. I cant see why anyone just would buy the DVD for the smae price and have it, if you want it digitally just copy it to your hard drive (many ways to do this).

    Now if there were some cost savings I would buy them too, much like I would buy cd’s if they were priced around 5 bucks online probably I would spend up to 10 bucks for a good new movie.

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