Australians rank amongst the heavy hitters when it comes to film and TV piracy despite our small population, with timely access to legal material often cited as the reason why. EzyFlix has launched its streaming operations today, offering another avenue for legal TV and movie downloads, but it seems unlikely to change much.
Ezyflix only offers TV episodes on a sold basis, while movies are available on a rental or ownership basis, with price points at the same kind of levels as existing services from Quickflix or Apple.
So a TV episode will cost you $2.99 — I’ve previously argued why I think this is a reasonable enough price point, although the website states they’re $3.49 for HD versions. Movie rentals clock in at around $5.99 for SD rentals, or more to own; as an example Django Unchained costs $24.99. They’re also offering Ultraviolet, and support Mac/PC/iOS and Android streaming and offline playback options.
I’m all for legal avenues of TV purchasing, and it’s good to have a little bit more competition in the digital media space. Still, sadly I don’t think EzyFlix will make that much of an impact on the local piracy scene which is driven both by a little bit of greed (the “why should I pay for free TV?” idea) and also the desire for immediacy (and to avoid spoilers) in an online world.
As an example, EzyFlix currently has the very popular (and highly pirated) Breaking Bad available for sale at $2.99 an episode (or $19.99 for the season), but it’s only available at the time of writing up to episode 8 of series 5. That’s not going to cut it for the piracy/impatient crowd. A quick check on iTunes shows episode 10 available. Flicking through other popular and oft-pirated series, EzyFlix doesn’t seem to carry HBO content at all, which means no Game of Thrones or True Blood, for example. Those are gaps that could always be filled with a future content deal, but right now, I can’t see EzyFlix making a huge dent in the piracy problem.