As Netflix gets ready to for its big European Launch, France will be among its most difficult nuts to crack – mainly because there are way too many players with an interest in having them fail. There are TelCo operators who have competiting offers, who have refused to partner with Netflix on their launch. And then there’s Vodkaster, a VoD Service which allows DVD owners to mail in their DVDs and then watch them on Vodkaster’s web service.
Vodkaster’s service is actually quite ingenious – they leverage the difference’s in limitations about which films can be distributed on VoD vs. DVD – namely, films come out on DVD before ever being available on VoD – and have users submit their own DVDs (or buy/rent from other users) which are then stored in a central location and viewable online.
In order to show off just how much more recent its selection of films is, Vodkaster has released a parody site – Notflix.fr (there’s no French text, so go ahead and look) – which lists films which are available on Vodkaster that aren’t available on Netflix.
I assume they use IMDB’s (or something similar) API to pull in films released on DVD that are younger than 3 years old (I believe that’s the limit, according to our guest post on the VOD market).
The trick is quite cute – and looking at the list, a relevant point for users. Django Unchained, The Dark Knight Rises, Gravity & The Wolf of Wall Street are all on this list.