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Zediva Launches Online DVD Rental -- Streaming Video Service

Thousands Joining Zediva in First Day Causes Shutdown and Waiting List


DVD closes registration

When too many people signed up for Zediva in the first day, it had to close down registration. Those interested in using the service can enter their email to be put on a wait list.

Photo (c) Barb Gonzalez - Licensed to About.com
NOTE: Since the following article was posted, the Zediva service has been discontinued, which is discussed in following article: Zediva Ordered to Permanently Shut Down. The information contained in the article below is preserved for archive purposes.

Zediva is a new type of video-streaming website that is trying to give the people what they want: cheap rentals of streaming movies the day they are released on DVD.  Actually, Zediva describes itself as an "online DVD rental service" because it streams the video from DVDs, played on DVD players, rather than from digital video streams used by other video-on-demand services.

The Zediva service has been in development for two years, and entered public beta testing last November. CEO and founder, ex-NASA rocket scientist Venky Srinivasan, describes how he got the idea for Zediva in his blog. When Zediva formally announced the service on March 16, 2011, it underestimated the rush of excited users.  There is already a waiting list to use the service.

Zediva Couldn't Handle the Initial Flood of Demand

After articles were posted about Zediva, there was a flood of people immediately signed up for the service. By the end of the day, Zediva had received enough attention that it couldn't handle the demand. Late in the evening, Zediva posted a notice that the site had been taken down for maintenance because it was overwhelmed with new customers. 

The page read:

"Zediva.com is temporarily down for maintenance. 

“We experienced some exceptional customer growth this week as we officially launched Zediva to the public.  We're delighted by the attention from the media, and the overwhelming enthusiasm of our new and prospective customers.  We are, however, very disappointed that the resulting surge of customers has negatively impacted your experience.

“We do hope that you forgive us, and that you try back another time soon.  We're working diligently to build capacity to serve America's hungry appetite for new release movies. " 

The next morning, the Zediva site redirected visitors who had not yet established an account to a splash page, whichshowed monkeys dancing with DVDs and an announcement that registration is temporarily full.  Those who are interested in using the service can enter their email to be placed on a waiting list.

A spokesperson for Zediva told me that they will open up the service to more users on a weekly basis.

When asked about the how Zediva will handle more customers, Venky Srinivasan explained "Our technical architecture is ultimately designed to support millions of customers; We just launched our service, and are rapidly building out capacity to support the tens of thousands of customers we already have."

Srinivasan continued, "We are humbled and gratified by the terrific response we've had.  We are working very hard to make sure we can deliver a quality service to our loyal customers."

For a complete look at Zediva, check out our entire article series on this innovative online DVD rental service.

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