Apparently, there are still some people who haven't heard of file sharing programs like LimeWire, Bittorrent, or eDonkey. These same people are also quite obtuse to the existence of YouTube, Facebook, and My Space. Judging from a press release today, quite a few of those people work at Best Buy . The company announced today that it is launching an online video sharing service to allow users to store and share home movies and videos over the Internet. The big difference between BBY's new service and those I mentioned above? Best Buy is charging $6.97 a month for their video hosting, while the aforementioned services are all Free!
Sure, the Best Buy service supports hosting 100 minutes of video at lengths up to 30 minutes each, but anyone tech savvy enough to download files that big to their computers from their cameras is probably already hip to other methods of sharing their videos (Bittorrent comes quickly to mind). Making matters worse for BBY is that in order to accomplish this seemingly redundant feat, the company purchased a minority stake in Mydeo, the streaming video provider.
I would agree that BBY has to find a way to grow beyond its brick-and-mortar sales, but leasing video hosting to a niche group of people technologically inclined enough to create half hour movies on their computers but not savvy enough to find an effective way to share them online seems a bit of a stretch. A better use of the company's muscle, in my opinion, would have been to purchase video-game rental firm GameFly, then offer to sell said games to those who decided they liked them well enough to keep them. This falls more in line with the company's overall technology sales lineup, and positions BBY in a better market than one that is already saturated with free alternatives. After all, how many paid file hosting sites can you think of that are still around and profitable?