Palo Alto based music and movie application pioneer mSpot has just launched Mobile Movies, which is a mobile and online browser-based streaming movie rental service for BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Android and iPhone that uses native media players of those devices. mSpot has a unique pedigree in this area, having powered Sprint Movies since 2006... which was the world's first legitimate full-length movie streaming service for mobiles. The new service is carrier agnostic and currently features 350 films from Paramount, Universal & The Weinstein Company. I'm sure mSpot is in negotiations for even more content from all the majors. Individual rentals cost $4.99, or you can join their movie club and get up to 8 films for $15.99.
I've been testing the service this morning on my AT&T BlackBerry Bold. I visited mSpot's mobile website, selected "Zack & Miri Make A Porno", put in my credit card, agreed to terms and now have access to the film for 48hrs (windows vary by studio). I'm currently using my home wifi network, and in that environment the film is streaming perfectly, with only one very short buffering hiccup. The image quality is very good, even in full-screen mode (definitely on par with the best streaming video services out there), audio is excellent and audio/video synch is clean even after repeated pausing. I like it... its a very cool, cleanly executed service. My only complaints would be that I'd like the rental windows to be longer and I'd like the option to store the film (even if it's just for the rental window) on my media card, so I could play it back when I'm outside good coverage areas.
Now that the service is launched, the key for mSpot is to market the hell out of it so they can establish a substantial customer base and meaningful mindshare, before the inevitable competition gets its act together.