Zediva bypasses movie studios to offer cheap streamed movies

Streaming movie service Zediva says it can offer new release movies for as little as $1 a time, thanks to a loophole in the copyright laws.

The company manages this by avoiding storing movies on its own servers and streaming them to customers simultaneously. Instead, it takes its lead from rental companies.

When customers order a movie, they find themselves also renting a DVD player – although this remains at Zediva’s California headquarters, rather than turning up in a delivery van.

Users get immediate access to the movie, controlling all the DVD player’s functions via their PC, tablet or even their phone. They can play, pause, rewind and fast-forward just as if the player was sitting in their own living room.

And, says Zediva, the service offers access to additional features like multiple languages, directors’ commentaries, subtitles and closed captioning.

“Until now, users had to pay premium prices or drive down to the store to rent new release movies; Zediva is designed to allow anyone to enjoy new releases at an affordable price point,” says Venky Srinivasan, founder and CEO of Zediva.

“Our mission is to provide immediate access to the most current and popular blockbusters.”

The system is compatible with PCs, Macs, Linux, Android tablets, smart phones and Google TV. Customers can watch and re-watch a movie  for up to two weeks from the time they rent it. Users can sign up here.


The service is available now; movies will generally cost $1.99, but for a limited period the company’s offering 10 for $10.