I just found flickme.com, a new streaming film rental/buying site. The thing I liked is that I could login quickly with Facebook, which got me a Beta badge for being an early adopter. I instantly noticed the gamification for the site. Completing certain tasks earns one badges and points. There’s a set of leaderboards and more. This could be really fun, and, I can rent and buy digital films!

I started cruising the site while doing the research for this piece and I realized it’s sort of generic looking. They don’t really seem to have found an extremely dynamic look to the site yet. In fact, their colors are very reminiscent of a popular video game portal I know of…MINE. That’s cool, it’s a good color scheme plus they’re still in beta so hopefully they’ll tweak the interface over time.

Flick Your Flicks to Friends

Here’s another interesting feature of the site, some films are “flickable” which means that you can rent the film, and then share it with up to 5 friends who can rent it for up to 50% off. They’ve got 7 days to claim the discount. Now you might think that doesn’t really gain you anything, but of course, when they then rent some flickable films, hopefully they’ll remember you and include you in their five flicks.

There are some 1000 titles on the site already and they’re mostly from Sony and Warner Bros. The Dark Knight is there, as is Del Toro’s masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth. Rodriguez is present with El Mariachi. Missing is Akira Kurosawa unfortunately, however, Dr. Strangelove is in residence. Overall, there’s nothing astounding about the titles they’ve got on offer. It’s, again, a lot of those films you would find in the Blockbuster alleys that you generally pass over, except that they’re far more expensive.

Most purchases are in the $9.99 to $16.99 range and rentals are all a bit pricey at $2.99 or $3.99. You earn a lot of points, 1000, for buying a film. But I still don’t know that it’s worth it as all it does is put you on leaderboards and earn you badges. I could just buy the DVD and then rip it for my personal use and probably pay less. Might even find it used and save even more.

They definitely need to perhaps take a look at their pricing I think. Deathly Hallows Part 1 is $3.99 to rent while some films can only be purchased, around 200 of them roughly. Well, at least I can rent My Blue Heaven for $2.99… Or I could rent Priest for $2.99, then again, I could go to the local Redbox and rent it for $1.06.

Another strange thing is that they started instantly recommending films for me, without me having even input a rating or a review. That surely can’t be based on any very intricate algorithms and is perhaps just a shotgun smattering of titles. Several of them I have zero interest in, then again it nailed Snatch and Harold & Kumar go to White Castle. I guess with just 1,000 options, you’re bound to hit something out of blind luck. I’ll keep an eye on that stuff and see if it improves over time.

For the 1000 titles, they have just five categories on the quick list currently: Award winning, drama, action, romance and comedy. So where did they place the Matrix? Well it’s in Action, Adventure, Fantasy and Sci-Fi. A bit odd as I wouldn’t consider it fantasy at all but definitely sci-fi. I guess they only really show five categories at the top and when you go to all movies you have a choice of 16 genres, 5 age ratings, pricing, flickable or not and whether you’re looking to rent or own.

The flickme Features List

From the flickme website:

  • Top Hollywood movies for rent and purchase.  We offer new release titles like The Green Hornet, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Part I, and Just Go With It and favorites like Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Matrix, and Caddyshack.
  • Instant gratification.  Just pick your movie and start streaming to your computer instantly.
  • Fun with friends.  You can join the flickme community and connect with your Facebook friends on flickme in just one click.  Once connected you can share reviews, get recommendations, share discounts, and much more.
  • Friends with benefits.  About one third of the movies on flickme feature pass-along perks:  the first person to rent or buy can share special offers with friends, including discounts and access to rentals before they are normally available.
  • Exclusive Rewards.  In addition to obtaining discounts from friends, you can earn leaderboard points and collect badges based on your activity on flickme.  For instance, you can earn the Adam Sandler badge by watching five movies starring Adam Sandler.

Fade to Black

And cut! While flickme is cool, in my opinion, it’s too expensive. I have many other options available to me to get most of these films. I don’t know that the whole social gamification mechanic adds all that much that would make me want to spend money there. If I could get all the rentals for $1.50, maybe. If I could then pass along some savings to friends who had more than a week to claim that savings, possibly.

But honestly, I just think the service is overpriced right now. I do applaud them for their ingenuity and inclusion of both social as well as gamifying principles but now if they could just work on their pricing structure and benefits list, it might be worth it. In the meantime, I’ll be hanging out at Hulu catching up on the Akira Kurosawa collection oh, and all the TV I missed.

Then again, if those earned points turned into free rentals, purchases or other tangible rewards, it might be far more of an incentive. I’m sure they know that and are looking at how they might expand into that realm. I have some ideas, but I’m going to keep them to myself for now. It’s all part of my new master plan to become a consultant…muhahaha!