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Published on January 30th, 2012 | by willok


Volta: Irish Video on Demand

This past Thursday, saw the launch of Volta, a new Irish video on demand service offering a pay-as-you-go rather than subscription access, to a catalogue of Irish and international independent films titles. Obviously, its launch has occurred whether by coincidence or design within weeks of Netflix, a service with a global presence. Volta has less scope in its vision than Netflix, but it is a worthy one, as the service offers an outlet for home-grown material and the type of productions that won’t have a Bruckheimer-sized budget to make you feel a lesser person if you haven’t seen it.

Adding to the unique quotient of the service, there is differing pricing to allow you stream (€3.99) or download (€6.99) your choices, some of which will be released on the same day and date as their theatrical release. Again, such an approach will serve well the limited budgets, scale of release and publicity independent film must contend with. ‘The Guard’ is already among its stocks, with other recent releases such as ‘The Secret of Kells’, ‘Garage’ and ‘As If I’m Not There’ available. The catalogue is a work in progress with new links being formed with distributors and producers to swell its number and there is also a range of editorial content with articles, interviews and behind the scenes footage from many of the films available. The homepage is immediately more appealing than Netflix’s: have a gander here.

The whole thing smacks of potential; the Irish film industry and its output is one of troughs and instability, but there is creativity and hidden gems deserving of an outlet to reach wider audiences, or just audiences. The ongoing shift in how people seek out and enjoy TV programming and movies and the accessibility offered by online wizardry may as well be capitalised upon to develop new media for film production. The publicity around the launch emphasized ongoing negotiations with RTE to include some of their drama production; this aside, Volta seems one to add to your bookmarks when seeking out movie treats.

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