Video Streaming Service mSpot Cuts Prices


Mobile entertainment startup mSpot may not be ready to take out Netflix just yet. But the company is aiming to boost its share of the video streaming market by slashing prices.

The Palo Alto, California, company announced this morning it had cut its price to $3 to stream some new movies to mobile devices, personal computers and Internet-connected televisions. That price is dependent on which level of membership those who join the mSpot rental club choose. The industry average, mSpot claiams, for a new movie is $3.99 at such outlets as Apple's iTunes—though iTunes has the huge advantage of being an established player, an advantage Netflix also enjoys.

Under the mSpot membership plan, users can choose one of three tiers of service. By prepaying $4.99 a month, a user can watch up to four movies a month; for $7.99, users can watch up to eight movies; and for $15.99, up to 16 movies. The company also offers a la carte rentals from $1.99-$3.99.

With mSpot, you can get a movie on one device, such as an iPhone or iPad, and watch it not only on that device, but watch part of it and pick up where you left off on your television or PC.

“We’re finding that many of our customers want to watch new release movies that are not yet available for streaming on Netflix,” said mSpot CEO Daren Tsui in a release. “We’ve always competed very well with our new release selection and we’re excited to offer our customers more competitive pricing.”

In an interview with, Tsui said the new pricing is part of an overall strategy of trying to beat competitors to the market with new movies, and partner with manufacturers like Hewlett-Packard or Motorola by including mSpot technology as they roll out new tablets, smart phones and personal computers.

“We feel that the way that we’re going to be able to win in this hyper competitive space is a, technology, and the second piece is partnerships with larger companies,” Tsui said.

The company has deals with Sony, Disney, Paramount, NBC/Universal, Lionsgate, Warner, Image Entertainment, and Screen Media Ventures to stream their movies, TechCrunch reports.

The service is available across 50 different devices, and mSpot is working on technology that will go beyond streaming to allow users to cache the movies they rent and watch them where streaming isn’t available, Tsui said.

“We will be able to do that later this year,” he said.

April 15, 2011