A Shift In Attitudes - Adventure Film Rental Comes Of Age?
11th Jul 2014
First there were video tapes, then came DVDs which lasted a while and still exist in small numbers today. Blurays took over from DVDs at about the same time as digital files became available online. Despite the changes in format one thing has remained unchanged, the price. I remember the days at college when it was possible to go out and hire a video player and couple of tapes for a tenner for the night. Or you could buy an original tape for £15 or £20. Prices of Blurays are much the same today.
Generally speaking I tend to watch most things once, with only a handful of favourites ever getting a second viewing. This means that rental is a far more practical solution than collection. especially as the cost to buy is in my opinion simply too high to justify paying, so I have not developed a large collection of discs on my shelves. However, for the past ten years or so the it's been very easy to get hold of digital files illegally - from rip-off street vendors to torrent sites and peer to peer clients - and with storage costs so low, it's all too easy to build up a large collection of films on hard drives. With the cost of buying these films on disc still set at £15-£20, and the option to rent them dwindling as the high street rental store went extinct, Video On Demand was born. Led by the likes of Itunes, Netflix and Google Play, rental prices are finally settling at what I would consider a sensible price on a par with what we've been accustomed to paying over the counter for a physical disc or tape for the night, and perhaps more importantly, the catalogues of available films is growing.
With the growth of giants like Itunes and co have come smaller niche platforms offering specialist content that otherwise gets lost in the melee and hidden by those who can afford to advertise their titles.
One such specialist platform is www.steepedge.com. Steepedge was set up by Kendal Mountain Film Festival founders John Porter and Brian Hall. It's a catalogue of adventure film with a bias towards rock climbing and the mountains. I've been working with Steepedge for a couple of months now sourcing new films, and helping to grow the name. Steepedge is showing some good growth which appears to be a shift in attitudes of people towards actually buying or renting titles rather than ripping them off. Please check it out and let us know what you think, ideally by bookmarking it and using it next time you want to watch a film, or indeed with feedback, good or bad.