Free, Legal Movie Streaming Site Launches In OZ
An Australian company that is in the DVD movie distribution business has set up a free legal streaming service with action, animation, sci-fi, westerns, lifestyle TV shows and plenty more, but you won’t find any of the big blockbusters or titles that are seen on Foxtel.
The website is Viewlorium.com and despite the claim of “no advertising” in the press release, the service is “100% free” through being being an “advertising supported streaming service” – so whether you’ll be peppered with ad-breaks while watching or whether the site will end up with Google-style ads is yet to be seen.
The genres available are: “Action, Animation, Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Family, Horror, Lifestyle, Sci-Fi, Travel, War, Weird, and Western”, and the promise is that you can watch them “anytime, anywhere, on any device, and totally free.”
Thousands of free movies to watch online are promised.
Jon Hume, Head of Digital said: “Unlike many other on demand video streaming websites, we will never force viewers to subscribe. We are launching with 100% free movies with no strings, and we endeavour to keep our ad loads to an absolute minimum.
“Ours is an advertising financed business model which means the number one benefit we offer over paid and subscription based models is we will always be providing movie and entertainment content totally free to the viewer, so they will always be able to watch movies online free”.
“We believe that free movie content is not just tempting but an essential component for consumers of the internet and Web 2.0.
“Free is the expectation, and viewers won’t put up with anything that resembles a past and dead business model, like pay per view services. That’s just trying to bring back the days of renting a video. Those days are gone,” said Mr Hume.
The Company claims that online viewing is now almost level with traditional TV, pointing to a recent survey made by Ericsson ConsumerLab.
This showed that “75 percent of over 23000 respondents reported to have watched any type of streamed video ‘numerous times’ a week”.
The survey also showed that “77 percent reported to have watched broadcast television ‘several times’ a week”, with Viewlorium saying that “this shows that online viewing is now almost at par with traditional television viewing. People want to watch free movies online.”
Mr Hume explained how Viewlorium gets its content, stating: “Being a major player in the DVD movie distribution business, we have seen firsthand where the trend is going, and for a massive amount of content it is to free ad supported streaming.
“There is a wealth of underutilised content out there whether that be back catalogue or newer titles from independents and smaller studios. Don’t get me wrong no one is under any illusions that these are current block busters but it’s still great content and we think if it’s available for free then why wouldn’t you watch it. Now it’s up to the public to validate this model for our market so we can get our hands on more of the major’s underutilized content.
“We also know that the trend for overworked, stressed and busy people is to want total out-of-this-world escapism when watching movies. People don’t want to have to think about the movie. We believe Viewlorium.com offers the best collection of horror, sci-fi, weird and cult escape entertainment movies both on and off the planet,” said Mr Hume, although this sounds like an excuse for content that isn’t of what you’d call “the highest quality”.
“We know from selling DVDs to some of the biggest retailers in Australia, that the titles that will be the most appealing for viewing are the likes of ‘Alien Abduction’, ‘Paranormal Entity’, and ‘Battle of Los Angeles’. We know that Cult classics is one of the fastest growing areas for the movie hungry audience”, said Mr Hume.
To translate all of this into plain English, it means no massive Hollywood hits, just the B-Grade type of content you see in some stores where DVDs sell for $1 each, with movies you’ve never heard of but with names that can sound similar to big franchises, like the robots in “Transmorphers” or the penguins in “Tappy Toes” – animated programs that sound a bit like “Transformers” and “Happy Feet”.
The Company says it has licencing rights for “not just Australia, but for the vast majority of titles the world and so Viewlorium.com is set for global expansion.”
As for Viewlorium’s ability to “dent pirate and torrents websites remains to be seen as video piracy is a major challenge, but with governments here and overseas actively looking to stamp this out, the future looks solid for the Viewlorium.com business model”, says the Company.
So, when you’re flicking through your free-to-air or pay television and are seeing dozens or hundreds of channels with “nothing to watch”, there’s now a website with free streaming content that likely falls into the same category.
How popular Viewlorium.com ends up being is yet to be seen, but it is a free, legal source of content that will keep some people entertained, and an intriguing new legal entrant into the online streaming market.
And who knows? If it proves truly successful, the company would be able to source more and better content, but with the service only launching today, there’s a long way to go before that happens.