I fired up the old Xbox 360 the other day and noticed an option to watch the new James Bond movie, Skyfall, before it came out on DVD. The price was a mere 1200 Microsoft points. What does that equate to in real dollars, you ask*? I didn’t know, so I looked online** and discovered that you could purchase 1600 points for $20, which meant that the movie would be … $15 to watch at home. Wow. I’m lazy, but I’m not THAT lazy.
Now, I understand that what I’d be paying for is convenience. However, that’s a few dollars more than it would cost me to see it in the theater and about $14 more when it becomes available at my nearest Redbox location. Sure, there is a cost/benefit involved, but barring any freelance projects, the ten minutes it would take me to get the movie would probably worth the $14 in savings, especially if I bundled the trip with additional purchases, like a martini to stir and/or shake.
Having said all that, a friend of mine and I were talking about it and came up with an interesting solution. We would be tempted to pay the 1200 points if the movie had been released on Xbox Live (or some other service) at the same time as it was in the theater. Then people could have friends over for a viewing party, much like Pay-Per-View, and disperse the cost among multiple people. Granted, entertainment companies look at this as losing money, but I see it as more dollars than no purchases***.
*It was the same question I asked.
**Let’s pretend I used Bing.
***And entertainment companies wonder why people turn to illegal downloads.