Some years ago on a trip to the USA I was struck by the ready availability of a service known as Netflix which allowed you to rent a DVD or two, use them for as long as you like and then pop your viewed titles into a prepaid envelope returning them to Netflix so that you could order your next title. I remember wondering when such as service would surface in South Africa and how such a service would work given certain logistical issues such as the availability of broadband internet and the uncertain delivery times of the South African Post Office!
It was therefore with delight, that I heard from my good friend Eish! of eishcoza.blogspot.com that such a service was now available in our country and had been since October 2006. It is known as PushPlay and is, by all accounts, working well. Unfortunately it is only available in Cape Town at present so I am going to have to wait before I can give it a try. I value the fact that Eish! has in fact tried the service and has given it a thumbs-up.
I question why their marketing has not been more visible? Is it because they are trying to establish credibility first? Is it a desire to use word-of-mouth advertising as their primary source for new clients? Until Eish! told me about this service I had seen no marketing material either on- or offline. Being first off the blocks is one thing but maintaining that position while competitors begin to establish themselves is another thing altogether.
I also wonder whether there is a link between PushPlay and Netflix - take a look at these graphics from each company :
Both companies have a "How It Works" page - take a look at how similar they are :
PushPlay / Netflix
This certainly does not look like pure coincidence to me! There are clear similarities between the two companies and while imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I wonder if Netflix is not behind the PushPlay initiative. This post is being sent to the folks at PushPlay and they have right of reply. Their response will be posted to this blog.
Despite these questions, I believe that the time has come for this service in South Africa. I cannot wait for availability in Johannesburg! I wish PushPlay well in their future endeavours.
Read Eish's post on PushPlay here - Online DVD deal launched in SA - 1 Year Ago!!
(Update - PushPlay replied the very next day - see their reply here)