Vongo is closing its virtual doors. What's Vongo, you ask? Good question.
Existing customers (all five of them, or thereabouts) are being shuffled over to a similar, 2,500-movie download service from Verizon
Don't sell your Netflix
Vongo drowned in a sea of sameness, as nearly every legal downloading solution looks very much like the others. Hollywood won't license out its biggest hits under reasonable terms, because there aren't enough users or money in it for them -- and good luck getting subscribers if you don't have good content. Meanwhile, the Pirate Bay and other illegal alternatives have every flick under the sun, as long as you're willing to leave your morals at the door.
Where are we going?
Hence all the lawsuits, the painfully slow trickle of tasty flicks into legal digital realms, and paranoia about piracy. Vongo was just caught in the collateral damage from this misguided cleansing action, and it paid the ultimate price, like an innocent bystander at a firefight between the Mafia and the law. In this battle, the law can't win until it starts to treat the enemy like just another competitor -- albeit one using very different methods.
The Apples, Netflixes, and Amazons of the world will eventually pull through this licensing morass and lead consumers into a brand new world of entertainment, where you can see and hear what you want, when you want it, and where you want it. Theaters and Starz will still be there; they'll just be knocked down a couple of links in Hollywood's food chain.
Goodbye, Vongo. We hardly knew ye.
Further familiar Foolishness:
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Disney and Netflix, but holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like, and Foolish disclosure believes in a brighter future.