eBay meets Netflix?
October 24, 2005 11:46 AM   Subscribe

New startup Peerflix is starting to generate press attention as a clearinghouse for peer-to-peer DVD trades; it's being called "eBay meets Netflix". With an idea that obvious, you'd think someone would have thought of it before, and they had - it was called WebSwap, but it didn't last that long...
posted by runkelfinker (24 comments total)
So I read peer-to-peer and think "file-trading." Bummer that it's through snail mail. I think this will have little pull over Netflix, especially since people will probably take much longer to put their dvds in the mail. The idea of decentralizing Netflix seems to have potential, but I'm not sure if this is it.
posted by allen.spaulding at 11:55 AM on October 24, 2005

So... it seems like a bit of a Jip. You have the "Peerbucks" that something costs. I assume you don't get the same amount back if you trade that title in.

Also, you're paying per trade--so you give up a DVD (or two) and pay $0.99 for a new DVD. It seems like the only DVDs I wanna give up are my old crappy ones that I never watch anymore. Plus I don't get to get the DVD case.

This has failure written all over it.
posted by psychotic_venom at 12:06 PM on October 24, 2005

It seems like this already exists, a few times over: Swappingtons, MyDVDTrades, iSwap... Or just this list of sites.
posted by milkrate at 12:12 PM on October 24, 2005

Does anybody remember SwitcHouse? It was probably as successful as a swap site could get, and I'm not sure why it went bust. I traded many items through them and it had a very good interface. The domain used to redirect to Amazon but now goes to a swapping service called Nintari.
posted by etoile at 12:18 PM on October 24, 2005

Switchhouse.com tried the same thing way back in the year 2000. The system worked great until they tried to make money off it. The second transaction fees were implemented, the whole thing collapsed.
posted by hipnerd at 12:19 PM on October 24, 2005

A brief history of Webswap/Tradia, which burned through $14M in startup money before closing. It notes there were plenty of "swap" services at the time.

Peerflix -- which doesn't sound like a great consumer name, really -- may be able to distinguish itself through a narrow business model, but I'd be very skeptical, and I'd cash in my credits right away.
posted by dhartung at 12:19 PM on October 24, 2005

I remember, etoile.
posted by hipnerd at 12:20 PM on October 24, 2005

Until someone creates a business model that can compete with bittorrent Xvid downloads...
posted by iamck at 12:26 PM on October 24, 2005

I miss the good old days of the boom when any idiot with a pen and a cocktail napkin could land $40 million in VC cash.

Now they want things like typed up and stuff.

As was noted above, these folk's model doesn't look like its got success anywhere in it.
posted by fenriq at 12:27 PM on October 24, 2005

Can I trade my peerbux for e-gold?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:49 PM on October 24, 2005

Piratebay is Peerflix but over the net, and with BitTorrent, and sexy in an illegal pirate sort of way. Aaarrr!
posted by furtive at 12:49 PM on October 24, 2005

What a train wreck this idea is! Complicated never works...Netflix works because it really really simple...no bucks, no this is what I have etc...ugh.
posted by UMDirector at 1:01 PM on October 24, 2005

I have awful ideas, when are they going to pay off?
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 1:25 PM on October 24, 2005

You want DVDs, music of all kinds, audio books and anything else you can think of, all you need is a newsgroup connection.
posted by bjgeiger at 1:25 PM on October 24, 2005

I used Peerflix pretty heavily for about 6 months, these are my thoughts

1) Its very easy to loan-out hard to find titles, there is more demand than supply.

2) It is hard to loan-out the common blockbuster titles, theres more supply than demand.

Thus what happens is you end up with a pile of junk titles and no points, and have loaned out all your good titles.

For example, its easy to unload a Criterion title and you get lots of points for it. So with those points you can get 2 or 3 common titles (hollywood blockbusters).. but then, your stuck with them and they are hard to loan back out and get points again. So once youve loaned out your quality stuff, your stuck. The trick is to only deal in high-value titles (and keep rips of everything you loan out in case you never get it back).
posted by stbalbach at 1:34 PM on October 24, 2005

Also the owners of peerflix started selling points (for money) thats when I quit using them.In effect it allowed people to buy my DVD collection (!), bad enough, but worse it effected the dynamics of the microeconomics of the barter system.
posted by stbalbach at 1:37 PM on October 24, 2005

It seems like the majority of the DVDs are "unavailable"....
posted by Jeff_Larson at 1:39 PM on October 24, 2005

Great idea! This is just like Bit Torrent only your DVD's get ruined and you have to pay for the privilege. Idiots...
posted by fire&wings at 1:45 PM on October 24, 2005

so my choice is Netflix, where I get approximately 99cent rentals if I watch them and return them within a week, or this monstrosity where I pay 20 bucks for a dvd and then get to watch one other movie in exchange for lending it out to a stranger sight unseen?
posted by Megafly at 2:10 PM on October 24, 2005

Anybody know the Peerbux to Flooz exchange rate?
posted by schoolgirl report at 3:22 PM on October 24, 2005

My friend participates in PeerFlix, and he says that people regularly do not hold their end of the deal. He also said that these people go unpunished for their violations.

Apparently, the community is not well-moderated.
posted by mr.dan at 6:40 PM on October 24, 2005

Do I have to look like the people on the front of their site to join?
posted by mildred-pitt at 8:57 PM on October 24, 2005

Bittorrent sucks!

I can never find anything besides anime and xbox games, and when I do the feed is like 3.4 kb/s. Bleeeh.
posted by craniac at 8:26 AM on October 26, 2005

Metafilter should have its own free dvd/game/software swap system.
posted by craniac at 8:27 AM on October 26, 2005

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