DVD Rentals – from Your Neighbors

You’ve probably heard of ZipCar. But you probably haven’t heard of GetAround, a startup in San Francisco my friend Jon Sterling showed me over coffee a few weeks ago. The difference between the two — GetAround connects you with locals who put their own cars up for rent.

Extend the same concept to DVDs to take on RedBox with a true person to person DVD sharing platform.

My friends’ family has a wall of DVDs and Blue Rays at least as big as the photo to the right (and more like twice as big). There is a RedBox about a quarter of the mile away, but I still stand a better chance of finding a movie I want to watch if I walk two doors down and borrow one from my neighbor.

There are four challenges to this approach in my mind:

  1. Convincing individuals to upload their entire DVD inventories – How do you convince individuals to upload their entire library to make it searchable (and tagged to a lat/long)? It seems the only real way to do this is to build the upload tool straight into DVD players, so that every time someone watches a DVD, it auto submits that to their digital library.
  2. Making it worthwhile for individuals – Users should get paid, maybe $2 per rental? Is that even worth the hassle of loaning out their DVDs for days at a time?
  3. Pick Up – how do you organize picks and drop offs when the DVDs are sitting in living rooms across the country?
  4. Reaching scale – how do you get to a point where anyone that uses the site can find someone to borrow a DVD within a mile or two of their house?

What do you think? Would this work, or is getting individuals to upload their entire DVD libraries too much of a hurdle for not enough financial gain?

[Photo via http://tyedyedork.blogspot.com/]

This entry was posted in Local Business Ideas, Online Business Ideas by Drew Meyers. Bookmark the permalink.

About Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon, a private couchsurfing app enabling you to stay with someone you trust on your next trip. He worked for Zillow.com from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder and managing editor of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. He is passionate about traveling..currently in Seattle.