flickme is an online rental service with some cool ideas


It seems like everybody is getting into digital distribution lately. As of right now, there are services from big names like Apple, Amazon, Youtube, and even Facebook, as well as more concentrated services such as JapanFlix or the Criterion Collection’s online catalog. Then there is Netflix, whose only competition comes from Hulu Plus, because Amazon Prime’s instant catalog is pathetic, and that’s really only if you really love the Criterion Collection. Well, rather than innovating in that space, newcomer flickme has decided to try something new in the rental/purchase game. Made primarily behind the guys behind Funny or Die and InsiderPages, flickme purports to be a social service, thus competing most directly with Facebook. Despite its logo, which looks suspiciously like the one for Youtube, it seems that the site may have some interesting ideas.

The name coming from the ability for friends to “flick” films to each other. Not all films are “flickable”, but I expect that catalog to grow quickly and significantly. As a concept, flicking is kind of cool. In essence, it makes rentals cheaper. If I rent Taxi Driver for $2.99, I can then flick it to five friends, who will only have to pay $1.49 for the rental. Sometimes $1.00 is discounted, sometimes it’s a percentage discount, but conceptually it’s very interesting. As I said, there are films that aren’t flickable (although I don’t know what the percentage is), and there are some films that aren’t even available to rent (like Hitch), but competition is a good thing, and hopefully it will get big enough that other services have to enact something similar.

Now we just need a real Netflix competitor. Maybe that will stop the string of suck that has been their weekly releases.

[Via The Hollywood Reporter]