Particularly following the streaming success of the movie The Interview, Hollywood is thinking harder than ever about new ways to distribute content online. Or at least it should be–however, the suspension today of two-week-old movie-sharing service Wavelength seems to suggest otherwise.
Wavelength offered an intriguing new spin on the concept of shareable media. Instead of lending out physical copies of a movie, Wavelength used UltraViolet, a so-called “cloud locker system” set up by Hollywood executives a few years ago, which lets buyers offer access to their movie libraries to as many as six other people.
Wavelength was set up so that users could post their UltraViolet movie archives online for their friends to watch for free–provided that only three people watch each movie at a time, and that they also upload their personal collection.
It’s an intriguing concept, since it offers the benefits of new, free content discovery, while also theoretically encouraging people to keep on buying movies, as this is the only way they can then be shared online.
Still, Hollywood seems to have balked. Less than two weeks after Wavelength launched, founder Spencer Wang has suspended the service, “as we speak with key industry constituents to showcase that wavelength.io is a great thing for consumers and the film business.”
“We hope to be back soon,” Wang notes, although it seems that—once again—the idea of letting people view movies for free online, even without hosting the physical files, is a bridge too far for moviemakers.
We’ve reached out to founder Wang for comment and will update with more information.