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Future of TV

MovieSwap allows you to digitally share your DVDs, an interview with the CEO


By Natan Edelsburg, SVP

March 30, 2016 | 5 min read

There's a new streaming video Kickstarter that's on the rise and has already doubled it's fundraising goal with over two weeks left to go. MovieSwap's mission is simple, they want to digitize the ancient act of physically sharing DVDs by getting everyone to send them the DVDs that have piled up on shelves or in storage (they've already collected over 200,000).

By actually acquiring the DVDs from people and then streaming them in a "digital swap" they are confident that what they're doing is legal. While this might come across as a smart gimmick to make use of a dying medium, they're serious about the future and aim to create the next Spotify for movies.

Found Remote interviewed Cofounder and CEO Cyril Barthet about their future plans for the platform.

Found Remote: Why is it legal?

Cyril Barthet: The whole system is based on ownership. Which means that we make sure that, at any time, there is only one owner for one DVD on MovieSwap. This is why we have big warehouses and really need to collect a lot of DVDs: if 200 people want to watch The Matrix at the same time, we need 200 copies of The Matrix.

FR: Are there enough DVDs left to make it viable?

CB: There are more than 25 billion DVDs in the world. We're not saying that we're going to collect them all, but yes there are enough left to make MovieSwap viable.

FR: Can anyone upload a DVD? How long does it take? How do you know it's really theirs?

CB: Users have to physically send their DVDs to MovieSwap. We already gathered more than 200,000 of these. This is how we make sure ownership is real. Once we've registered the DVDs on behalf of its owner, we can play it thanks to our high-frequency multi-DVD drive (and repair it if need be) then put it into the cloud and store the physical copies in our warehouses.

FR: How is it going so far?

CB: The Kickstarter campaign is doing very well. We reached twice our financial goal within the first week and we almost have 4,000 backers already. Our main objective is to gather as many backers as possible during the campaign to show traction to our investors.

FR: How did you come up with this idea?

CB: Julien, one of our founders, was on vacation and wanted to show a friend the differences between the theatrical version of David Lynch's Dune (1984) and the shitty 1988 recut for TV. Even though he had the 'Extended Edition' of the DVD, a big TV screen and even a tablet, there was no DVD player in the house. Julien only needed a way to access something he owned. MovieSwap was born.

FR: What's the plan once DVDs are no longer a thing at all?

CB: MovieSwap aims to be the 'Spotify for Movies', and our DVD-based system is a pretty good way to get it off the ground. In the long term, new DVD releases will probably be replaced by digital files, as we are partnering with studios.

FR: Anything else?

CB: Our obsession is to provide access to the largest catalogue possible. It has been done with music a few years ago and people are now waiting for the "Spotify of movies". This is pretty much what we want MovieSwap to be and we need lot of people to support our campaign to make it happen.

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