EzyDVD to launch download service

Australia’s EzyDVD is pushing ahead with its internet movie download service despite the recent failure of its erstwhile technology partner Reeltime Media. The retailer has acquired the assets of “pioneer” Reeltime which has itself folded, and employed some key technical staff.

EzyDownload.com.au is set to launch in September and has been actively in development since February. The site will be a sister site to the EzyDVD site which the company claims is the largest online DVD retailer in Australia. Cross-promotion between the two services is likely to see free downloads bundled with DVD sales.

Jim Zavos, EzyDVD’s founder, said: “EzyDVD is building a one-stop, online entertainment portal in EzyDownload, with content from major Hollywood studios, independents and music companies, offering legal download-to-rent and download-to-own options. EzyDownload’s content will be extensive including latest releases and classic movies, TV shows, music concerts, sports, documentaries and special interest programs. And we will be the only Australian movie download company offering a DTO service.”

But EzyDVD claims it will not be beset by the same problems that plagued ReelTime – a high cash burn rate, lack of access to content and slow internet speeds.

Zavos said: “Reeltime really were pioneers in downloading and were probably a little too ahead of their time.” The “key distinction”, the company, said, between the two is that EzyDVD already has “quality studio relationships”, a website presence and customer base and a track record in building entertainment-related businesses. However, EzyDownload has yet to wrap up any studio deals and there are reports that expensive deals proved one of the millstones around ReelTime’s neck.

EzyDownload will also operate at a lower cost base in terms of staffing and hardware, software and service contracts, as at least some of that is already built into EzyDVD’s existing business. The company is also implementing a new technical structure that leverages advances in networking technology.

Gone too is ReelTime’s expensive set-top box model, under which the company developed a hard-drive broadband set-top box onto which purchasers would be able to store their content downloaded via the internet and watch on their TV. EzyDownload will be exclusively a computer service, at least for the time being.

And Zavos said that EzyDownload is partnering with ISPs to promote “no cap limit” downloading, still rare in Australia.

EzyDVD bought ReelTime's assets for a reported few hundred thousand dollars.