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Monday, August 11, 2008

EZTakes launches a new site for the artsy cinephile

Anne Thompson noted this morning that the guys at Massachusetts-based EZTakes, one of the first download sites to do the burn-a-DVD-on-demand thing, have launched a new site called iArthouse.

It'll compete primarily with Jaman, another site focused on foreign, arthouse, and independent titles.

iArthouse, so far, is just a rebranding of without some of the schlockier stuff -- no "Extreme Sports" category, for instance, and no Troma movies like "Toxic Avenger." But other than that, the fare is virtually identical: here's the drama category on EZTakes, and here it is on iArthouse.

I called Jim Flynn, co-founder of EZTakes, to see what's up. He told me that there aren't any new titles up on iArthouse yet that weren't on EZTakes, but he expects about 30 titles from Kino International to show up within the week.

Flynn acknowledged that EZTakes isn't selling as many downloads as iTunes (50,000 a day), but that he wouldn't reveal specific numbers. He said that EZTakes received a "multi-million dollar" investment in January from a private investor, in addition to the several million that he and co-founder Bill Clarke have already put in. As of the start of 2008, Flynn says the site is profitable.

Here's a graph from Alexa comparing the traffic of EZTakes to that of Jaman, CinemaNow, and Movielink. Interesting that Jaman has twice the traffic of EZTakes. Obviously, Web site traffic doesn't equal downloads -- you can visit without buying or renting -- but it's the best approximation we've got.

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