Samsung has this week announced it is launching a mobile phone service offering access to hundreds of movies and TV shows. On paper, moving into content provision is a savvy move from the Korean phone giant at a time when sales of hardware appear to be in decline. Not least since the service will present it with a precious new revenue stream. But there are at least a couple of things the company might have done to improve the service and enable it to challenge iTunes.
First up, we should make it clear that the content isn’t badly priced; Just £2.49 to rent a movie and £4.99 to buy it outright. However, one can’t help feeling that the failure to offer a subscription option that gives customers unlimited use is something of a mistake. You’ve only to look at the runaway success of Spotify to see that this would have been a popular option with the public.
The other significant mitigating factor against Samsung Movies mounting a viable challenge to iTunes is that it will only be compatible initially with Samsung’s Tocco and Tocco Ultra phones. Popular as they are, these can only be owned a tiny proportion of Samsung’s customer base. Presumably this decision was taken because said phones boast large screens that will improve the movie watching experience. But surely, it would have made more commercial sense to offer it on all Samsung internet-enabled phones and then let punters decide if their screen is too small?
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