MUBI: Watch movies of cult, classic and indie movies

On: September 18, 2014
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About Blanka Szamos
-BA thesis in online group dynamics on Facebook -research essay in Scandinavian criminal books and series -essays in cultural economics


It happened to me more than once that I got myself into the situation when I had no idea what to watch on Netflix. Even if it is amazing that we can reach everything there, sometimes it is easier to choose from a smaller list of movies. So as I started to surf on the internet, I found Mubi and also some interesting articles about it. My favourite one is at the TNW.

MUBI main menu

Originally MUBI was called The Auteurs and it was founded in 2007. However, they launced their application in 2010 on PlayStation 3, then a Sony’s line of Bravia in 2011. The interesting part was created in 2012 when MUBI decided to change on their VOD system. From that moment, the structure was the following: each movie is available for 30 days. Everyday they add a new movie so the whole lineup is in a change always. The website is also quite easy to understand and get informed.










In the following part, I am writing a brief overview about this part of systems based on the book (Médiagazdaságtan – Media Economics) that was written by my professor  in Hungary during my Bachelor programme (Mihály Gálik).

Shortly, the main part of VOD (video on demand) and AVOD (audio video on demand) is that the user can decide when he or she would like to watch/listen the content and thz do not have to do it in a specific broadcast time. The easiest way to reach this option is to have an IPTV. The two main options are watching the content in real-time whiole we are recording or we can use a set-up box to download the content to a device and watch it later. To mention three other options, we can talk about SVOD (subscription video on demand) that charges with a fee for subsribtion, the NVOD (near video on demand) that has the pay-per-view system and the PVOD (push video on demand) with a pre-loading structure.

From the economic point of view, I was wondering if MUBI will have the same influence as Netflix. As we know, both charge for a membership. The type of this economy is based on a pay-per-use system which a part of sharing economy.  They make money by sharing the same products instead of by selling more products. A study by the University of Massachusetts found that streaming a movie requires 78% of the energy needed to ship a DVD, but accumulates a carbon footprint that’s roughly 100% higher. The higher carbon impact comes from the intensive energy use – caused by inefficient equipment – of data centers that store movies and pipe them into homes. The study focused only on Netflix, however, which ships thin, lightweight DVDs or sends content electronically.

The point is that Netflix started to change the viewing habbits. An older article from 2011 already stated that 35% of all U.S. consumers (ages 13 to 54) say they use Netflix — for streaming and/or DVD or Blu-ray rentals — at least once a month. Surely, MUBI is still smaller and new, but it already has more than 6 million users. Another article from February, 2014 had a statistics with the results of more than 60 percent of Americans, according to a 2013 Nielsen survey, admitted to binge-watching shows. Nearly eight in 10 Americans have used technology to watch their favorite shows on their own schedule.

Consumers want the ability to fully immerse themselves in a drama or comedy series when they have the time. The practice is better known as “binge-watching,” something web TV services encourage viewers to do when they make whole seasons of a show available at once. So binge-watching  is the practice of watching television for longer time spans than usual, usually of a single television show. In a survey conducted by Netflix in February 2014, 73% of people define binge-watching as “watching between 2-6 episodes of the same TV show in one sitting.

“Media psychologists” already started to study deeper this topic, personally I found Jordan Gaines Lewis‘s and Chris Smith‘s article the most interesting.

Actually so far I have no idea if MUBI would take the next step at VOD or might create a new type of binge-watching but for sure, the number of users increases fast.

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