Yesterday I got a rare chance to travel to Stockholm and meet the team behind the new film streaming app Voddler which is currently only available in Sweden. Next week, we’ll be publishing an exclusive interview with Voddler’s Mathias Tönnesson so watch this space for a fascinating look behind the scenes and for some answers to all of your questions about one of the most exciting applications of the year.
After the interview though, it struck me that Voddler are banking a hell of a lot of their hopes on people being willing to stream content rather than download it whether legally or illegally.
In Voddler’s case, the content is films and documentaries (and eventually TV shows) and the success of the project largely depends on users being happy to stream, rather than own content.
Fortunately for Voddler, the law is on their side in Sweden. It was pure coincidence for Voddler that it was launched last year just as the Pirate Bay trial deemed the P2P file sharing site illegal. Suddenly, Swedes were faced with either breaking the law to download films or turn to more legal methods and Voddler came along at just the right time to take advantage of this.
Technology is also on their side. Internet connections are getting faster and more widely available. Tönnensson explained to me how he’d already been given a preview of Sweden’s next generation 4G mobile network and it streamed Voddler films onto a laptop perfectly with no fixed internet connection. In theory, within a few years there will be little need to physically own films or video content available on Voddler because you will be able to watch them anywhere, anytime absolutely free.
However, old habits may be harder for Voddler change. We’re used to owning data, especially music and films on our iPods, hard drives and even simply for aesthetic reasons around the home. There’s something very satisfying about physically browsing through a DVD or CD collection.
I for one am happy to stream, though. For example, I’ve come to depend on Spotify for most of my music needs and if I had an Android device or iPhone, I’d be willing to pay the subscription fee to use it on the move. But this is only because Spotify offers me almost all of the music I want. As happy as I am to watch streamed movies and videos, it will be very much dependent on Voddler providing the same exhaustive and comprehensive choice of films.
I see no reason to clog-up my hard drive or bookshelves with films and music I’ll probably never watch again. I’m proud to say I’m a swanky streamer and not a downloading dinosaur. What are you?