Monday, January 21, 2013, 10:30 AM ET|Posted by Will Richmond
Ever had the experience of hearing about a movie, being intrigued by it, wondering when/where you'll be able to see it, and then, as time passes, forgetting all about it? GoWatchIt, a free service, cleverly solves this problem, allowing you to search for and save movies to a queue and then alerting you as they become available in the future, whether in theaters, on DVD/Blu-ray or online/on-demand.
Now GoWatchIt has partnered with the Sundance Institute, whose 2013 Film Festival is currently underway. Sundance is historically the place where some of the hottest independent films are debuted. However, given the nature of film distribution cycle times, frequently these movies won't actually become available for viewing for many months.
So this year, Sundance is featuring a "Watch It" icon on almost all the film pages, which, when logged into GoWatchIt, allows you to add that film to your queue and learn when it will be available in a particular outlet (see example below). For film buffs in particular, the GoWatchIt has huge value in eliminating the risk of missing a sought-after movie down the road, even if it only gets narrow distribution.
What's particularly valuable about GoWatchIt are the alerts for online/on-demand distribution in outlets such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon, VUDU, Cable on Demand, SnagFilms, YouTube, Hulu, Google Play and Sundance Now. This is key because online distribution is extremely confusing and fragmented, as these outlets jockey with one another for content rights. For viewers, it has become nearly impossible to know where or when a sought-after movie might pop up - in Netflix or Amazon or another OTT provider.
For example, my wife recently noticed in Netflix Watch Instantly the 2012 movie "The Queen of Versailles," which, a while back, we had made a mental note to see. But had it gone to say, Amazon Instant Video, which we don't subscribe to, we wouldn't have even known and it would have no doubt just disappeared from our radar. With GoWatchIt, this problem is completely eliminated.
In addition to Sundance, GoWatchIt is also embedded in NYTimes.com, RogerEbert.com, TheWrap.com, Variety.com and other entertainment-oriented web sites. In addition to the queues, GoWatchIt users can also create a "Watched List" where they can rate movies they've seen. Users can also share themed movies lists with other users and friends in their social networks. GoWatchIt is also available as an iPhone app.
All in all, GoWatchIt is a very handy resource for keeping track of movies in an increasingly complex distribution landscape.