You are here
Home > STARTUPS > 4 reasons why it’s dead in the water 4 reasons why it’s dead in the water

This Jamaican startup has erected billboards, created a sweet website and book online ads on high traffic Jamaican sites, yet this business I believe is dead even as it has just begun. Here’s why.1.The domain name. Why they chose and not just especially since it’s a .jm extension

  • lol@Ryan. Dude I stopped sipping mochas a year ago. Health reasons still. I do hate to be right though.

  • Ryan Smith

    ah, never mind. the site is down lol. gloat away! 🙂

  • Ryan Smith

    Those mochas must go down really well with the words you’re eating lol

  • ohh gosh now…I still am drinking Cafe Mochas. And they are still around. What a beautiful world we live in.

  • G. Elliott

    So Ingrid, any withdrawl from not having your Café Mochas? 🙂

  • I really liked your blog! Definely I Stumble UP the blog post ! Great Blog indeed 😉

  • hmmm When u say search amount what do you mean?

  • Sweet article, justa small Q, what is a good average search amount for a niche site? about 300 per month?

  • Great article! It’s good to know we’ve gotten the attention of the general public albeit not the review or assessment we would’ve preferred. It’s easy to see why the author is considered a pundit in this industry because she’s very knowledgable.

    We’d disagree on a couple of points though:

    1. We do own several similar or “typo” domains including that all directs to the main domain. If you’d tried it you would’ve realised. I do agree that the .jm extension makes the domain long but we were particularly proud of being a Jamaican website and wanted to maintain that identity. Anyway, point taken.

    2. Netflix is not fast abandoning this model but merely integrating other forms of content delivery in their product as the technology progresses. If you read their website or annual report you’ll see that they consider the DVD video format good for quite a number of years yet and expect DVD rental to be responsible for a significant portion of their subscriber growth. They’re targeting 20 Million subscribers in the next ten years.

    3. A market is not a niche by virtue of being small but a niche is a specialised segment of a market. Unfortunately though, due to the proliferation of bootleg DVDs and online downloads in Jamaica the renting/buying of original DVDs has ostensibly become a niche in the retail movie industry. However, by being online we believe we are better positioned to serve this niche through being able to target a wider geographical area with lower overhead costs and delivering much higher value to our customers.

    4. It’s really a shame the way piracy has taken over this industry and that the law does not seem to be enforced in any way to retard this practice. It is so common place now that people who can afford to do better and who ought to know better have succumbed to the temptation to indulge. It’s my opinon too that stakeholders may not be doing enough to market and package their product in a way to compete with this scourge. That’s what we are attempting to do in this regard. We believe (and research have shown) that there are people who are still interested in watching the higher quality of an original DVD, are still interested in getting value for money, and are still interested in getting superior customer service, all of which we offer. Our subscription packages all equate to less than 50JMD per day per DVD, which, includes free delivery around Kingston. By being able to easily browse and select from an increasing catalogue of over 5,000 movie titles online we can optimize our DVD procurement to ensure that customers get to watch the movie they want whether its a back catalogue, new release, or a title coming soon on DVD. In addition we offer a no commitment, no risk, two weeks FREE TRIAL.

    CONCLUSION: Don’t knock it ’til you’ve tried it. We’re not making any promises about our sustainability but we intend on giving it our best shot and if at the end of the day we’re not around it ought not to be because there’s something we could’ve done that we didn’t try. Still, if that be the case then we are indebted to those who patronised us and we are grateful for the opportunity to have served you.

    Thanks for the review Monique, (someone who tried it) and we hope you continue to enjoy our services for years to come.

  • AHhhh and that is the big question Monique, as you said ” The question is, are there enough persons like myself who think subscribing to this service is worth it?
    And I do hope they prove my assessment wrong! hope the find a formulae that works and they can grow a thriving business! I wish them luck, they will need it.

  • I too am skeptical about the viability of it, but I wont be quick to say its doomed. They introduced a cheaper plan ($9.99 for 2 DVDs per month) and that was enough for me to give it a try. The very day I signed up I came home to see the first DVD on my list in the mailbox. Watched it, dropped it off. The second one arrived one day after I made the drop-off. Fast enough for me.

    Ive watched my share of bootlegs and sometimes the poor video and audio quality can really spoil the show. Approx. $700 JMD per month is a decent price for getting the opportunity to watch some “DVD quality” stuff now and again. The fact that I dont own the DVD (as I would if I bought two bootlegs at $350 a pop on the roadside) is no big deal to me. Especially since many of the movies coming out these days aren’t nearly good enough to be be watched twice.

    The question is, are there enough persons like myself who think subscribing to this service is worth it? Or am I just one of the few suckers willing to jump on board? The answer to that question will (partly) determine whether they’ll stay alive or not.

  • It’s sad but as you said this venture is doomed

  • Glad I found this blog. Sunday Gleaner gets the nod for leading me here.

    I saw this flyer out by UWI, and I just laughed a bit to myself. As i knew that it wouldn’t work. Back in ’06, I like most others saw the success of Netflix, and increase in DVD’s thought about launching a service like this. I even thought of the same name “JamFlix”, but I was working out the “monies”* and things just didn’t look right.

    Then couple month time, I got a flyer at school about JamFlix. which we know didn’t go anywhere.

    The same feeling came to me, when I saw
    Anyone has any updates on this? And also is there any possibility for this model to work in JA.

  • I had an idea 4 years ago(that I never pursued), that involved a DVD “exchange” program/service.

    Where it would be a peer to peer dvd, books and video game exchange.

    For a flat monthly fee, one would have the ability to trade in their used DVDs for ones they wanted from an available pool.

    The business would have a physical store for walk-ins and storage, members would be able to browse available titles via the business’s website. The business would conduct deliveries for a per delivery fee or premium members.

    The business would have to have its “petty cash” like start up inventory of course.

    Was just an idea, back then…when folks still bought DVDs and the like.

  • Jamflix was started by my friend and sold to Viewers Choice…

  • Oh Sandor, so you saying maybe eVideos is Jamflix rebranded. And if Jamflix was bought out ahmmm what did they get the DVD library?!

  • sandor
  • sandor

    jamflix failed? maybe not for the person that set it up originally … i heard that they got bought out

  • I think that the post is a fair one and I was going to bring up Jamflix which my friend started as well – total failure.

    I would disagree that Netflix is “abandoning” their original business model, they are simply ADDING features that some of their customers want.

    I have been a Netflix subscriber for 1 year and get 3 movies at a time for US$17.95 per month. My movies take 2 days to get here and I send them back quickly so I usually end up watching atleast 6 movies per week.

    (1) Jamaica is not the USA and drop boxes = added cost

    Netflix would never work with a drop box – the margins are too thin.

    The cost of driving to pick up 1 DVD from a drop box or 25 DVDs is the same for the company. Naturally you want to spread that cost across many DVDs so that you can benefit from economies of scale. I don’t see that happening fast enough to lower the “cost-per-dvd” for pick up (Netflix has a fixed cost because it is mailed at a negotiate lower rate and so they can easily calculate the marginal cost of 1 more DVD)

    (2) The market in Jamaica is too small at present to create a sustainable business. It is impossible to run this islandwide right now so that means they will focus on Kingston/St. Andrew first just like Jamflix = too few potential customers

    (3) Too high a price point.

    (4) “e-anything” referring to the web went out of style in 1999

    It could last more than 1 year though, depending on how much start-up capital they have and how much they are willing to lose (unless it is just one person and a few DVDs).

  • You are on point with the reference to the name. I do think that is still a long domain name. Ingrid, some people just do not get internet advertising.

    great article I created a link on my blog.


  • Ingrid

    And then a colleague of mine just reminded me….about Jamflix…which pretty much tried the same thing and…went kaput.

  • Chad

    I tend to agree with you, if a regular video business can’t work I don’t see how online is going to be different.

    Well let’s analyze it as a model:

    1. Lower overheads – this is the single greatest reason why Viewer’s Choice would have to close…rent and staff in well located (pricey) areas.

    2. Giving people what they want – returning DVDs is always what kills it for customers. They keep racking up late fees and get turned off.

    3. Subscription model – will provide them with a lot of “free” revenue as many customers will keep the subscription on for whenever they want to rent again.

    Current Videos – as you mentioned they will have to be LOADED with the newest videos, otherwise people just won’t see the value, and will not want to wait. Instant gratification is the name of the game.

    Keeping Costs Low – bootlegs could still kill them. Because bearers (for deliver) and admin staff (for processing) are still expensive.

    All in all there is only one way to find out if this will work. They’ll have to prove us wrong.

    Good luck to them, I’d love to use the service (I just don’t think they are going to last).

  • Mark

    I agree. They certainly did not do their homework. You are on point with all your points!