Plexus Entertainment has looked at the Internet and has said, "If there was only a way people could read a review or watch a trailer for a movie and then click a simple button to be notified when and where that movie becomes available on all the formats I want." Welcome to the Beta, my friends. The new Watch It button is being connected to a ton of movie-related pages, and the service will tell you when a movie is available and whether it's in theaters, DVD/Blu-Ray, On Demand, and our cup of tea here at ReelSEO, online.
A Universal Queue For Movies, Updating Availability Across All Formats
Imagine reading a review on Variety or perusing what I consider the Holy Grail for this button, The Internet Movie Database, and being able to simply click the Watch It button and it will remind you when and where those movies are available. And of course there's a social aspect to it. Connect it through Facebook or Twitter and see what other people are watching and maybe find a way to watch it with your friends. You don't always have to watch that movie alone.
Where this is going to be a boon for filmmakers is in the independent realm, where films have odd release patterns and are hard to find after you first hear about them. The simple "Watch It" feature will keep track, and no longer will you read about a film that interests you and forget all about it later after the film takes forever to get to your city and even longer to get on video. Now you'll get e-mail notifications about when the movie is available on a new format.
I went to the gowatchit.com site and typed "The Godfather" into the search field. It gave me not only The Godfather, but everything with "Godfather" in it. Clicking on the more popular choice, the page told me it was available on DVD/Blu-Ray on Netflix (mail) and Amazon, On Demand and Online on iTunes, Vudu, and Amazon, and it has a handy little section that says, "Tell me when this movie is available on..." that tells me where I currently can't watch The Godfather but I might someday, such as Netflix (streaming), Redbox, cable On Demand, and even a handy Fandango button should the movie get another retrospective run in theaters. That pretty much rocks.
If there is one thing I'd like to see this app be able to do in the future, and it doesn't look like it can right now, is being able to notify people when a movie in a limited run in theaters is expanding to their area. So many times, a movie is released in New York and LA, but the pattern for release after that is always impossible to predict. So while the Fandango notification is great for movies in theaters, it's a broad stroke because a movie in New York is going to show up as "available" to someone living in Topeka. A simple zip code and interactivity with Fandango should clean that up. It is in beta, after all.