Can Sony’s Crackle Fill Android’s Video Void?


It’s no secret that we’re fans of Android at Phandroid – duh. But we also try to be objective critics who don’t allow our enthusiasm for the platform get in the way of our analysis. Android’s open ecosystem relies much on 3rd parties to fill market needs whereas Apple’s iOS prevents 3rd parties from competing in the first place. In the world of video and other multimedia content, there is a perceived benefit of using the iTunes-backed iPhone with which I cannot argue.

Perhaps Ryan Kim from GigaOM explains it best:

Overall, this seems like a big missed opportunity and points out some of the shortcomings of Android. With all these large-screen devices, a video solution would seem like a no-brainer. It hasn’t seemed to hurt sales of Android devices, but if the platform wants to fully compete with iOS, it’s about time it got a better video story together.

While this is a missed opportunity for Android, it’s a potential opportunity for 3rd parties up for the challenge for fulfilling this need. It’s a tough task, but Sony is attempting to create a formidable service in the form of an app called Crackle that they announced yesterday.


Sony Pictures Entertainment’s Crackle Inc. today announced the launch of the first full-length movie and television application for the Android platform. The Crackle app streams full-length, unedited blockbuster movies and television series as well as Crackle’s popular slate of original series.

As Kim also points out, the lineup they boast isn’t all that current, with titles such as Taxi Driver, Cheech and Chong, and Married With Children leading their campaign for buzz. The application is free to download on Android Market and will work on both 3G and Wi-Fi.

The multimedia, video, television, movie and music solutions are all in a position of transition and the next few years should determine how things play out for some time to come. We’ve got the streaming music offerings, the Blockbusters and Netflixes, Redbox, Hulu, studio’s proprietary apps and a lot of other offerings all offering a piece of the total picture. What service will break away from the bunch as the go-to supplier of entertainment in a one-size-fits-all iTunes sort of way?

That’ll likely depend on who can offer the most comprehensive offering that works with the largest majority of devices, from mobiles to laptops to TVs. With the launch of Google TV later this year, even that picture – which has been pretty stable over the past decade – is realizing a completely altered ecosystem.

So tell us Phandroids… what do YOU want to see in terms of an all-inclusive entertainment solution for Android? What are your favorite solutions now?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. I just downloaded it and am watching Diff’rent Strokes! This is cool but What I really want to see is a Netflix app that let’s me watch movies.

  2. Can’t wait for Netflix to finally get an Android app, but that’s mostly because I’m already using Netflix at home through my Xbox. Android has flash so we could already watch Crackle (and similar fare) from their website. That being said, I rarely find myself wanting to watch tv/movies on my phone since I have a 55″ HDTV at home and I don’t usually have the time to watch when I’m out.

  3. Is this US ONLY cuz i dont have it on my market and im in Canada

  4. I have an HTC Eris (2.1), and I would like an app. that allows me to view current (live) news channels (FOX) and sports (NFL Sunday, college football, etc.); NOT replays or delays.

  5. I am wondering if Netflix will step up given their aversion to Linux. If they do step up, perhaps the wall between Ubuntu and Netflix will finally crack, with Microsoft porting DRM to Moonlight (Silverlight). What would suck is if they released an altered app for Android but still avoided serving the linux PC os world.

  6. there is this awesome vid site called … just now an app.. but its catered to android resolutions, i love my movies there. i wish there was an app.. but that wud get me busted…hmm.

  7. “I would like an app. that allows me to view current (live) news channels (FOX) and sports (NFL Sunday, college football, etc.); NOT replays or delays.”

    I’m with Sherman. Live news and sports, first and foremost. Secondly, nothing aggravates me more than signing into Vcast or, on my Verizon Droid X, and seeing a list of 2 minute clips. The flip side is the NFL Network app; I watch streaming NFL channel all the time! Now, with the addition of the Red Zone and Sunday night live game, the App has set the bar as far as I’m concerned.

  8. Doesn’t show on the market for me. UK, Desire.

    Pity, looked quite interesting and wanted to give it a look.

  9. I don’t necessarily want some one-stop-shop like this. There is a reason I don’t like iTunes. I don’t want some redundant front end for stuff like Hulu or Netflix or local media or a media store. Content owners/producers won’t support free live streaming so that ain’t gonna happen. Not for the “good” stuff like live TV at least.

  10. I want to be able to watch my south carolina gamecocks from my droid.

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