Amazon Plans Movie Downloads; Might Start April End

Well, a week after my rather harsh criticism of Amazon.com’s digital media plans comes the news that it is close to entering the movie downloads space. Variety reports that the service might launch by end of April, and will have movies from indie studios, and at least two major studios.

But the service might have some offline-DVD variant to it: one possible scenario is that an Amazon customer could stream a digital copy of a film for a fee and apply that charge as a credit toward the eventual purchase of the DVD. Basically, try-before-you-buy…

Another plan is for a customer to buy a DVD; while waiting for it to arrive, he could stream the content over his computer.

Bottomline: doing everything not to erode into the DVD revenues…as the story mentions: “When you go to a product page on the site, it will say all the variations about how you’d purchase that video — stream, buy or maybe a combination (of options).”

I’m not sure the best-of-both-worlds approach will work in the medium to long term.