Friday, May 30, 2008

Disposable DVD's: Dumbest Product Ever?

In the words of the incomparable Jeff Matthews, I Am NOT Making This Up.

TWICE: Staples Stocking No-Return DVDs

Staples will begin carrying Flexplay Entertainment’s self-destructing DVD movies next month.
The discs, manufactured with Flexplay’s time-limited technology, can be viewed for only 48 hours after removal from a special sealed pouch. After two days the DVDs become unplayable and can then be discarded or recycled.
Flexplay discs can be viewed on any standard DVD player and remain viable within the package for about one year.
Staples, the office supply chain, plans to offer the DVDs for $4.99 at its 1,500 U.S. stores. Initial titles will include “Semi-Pro,” “The Kite Runner,” “There Will Be Blood” and “The Golden Compass,” among others.
Flexplay uses a proprietary, patented adhesive to glue together the plastic disc halves that form a DVD. Removing the Flexplay DVD from its sealed package exposes the disc to oxygen, triggering a controlled chemical reaction that causes the adhesive to interfere with the ability of the DVD player’s laser to read the disc.
Flexplay has partnered with environmentally friendly recyclers, plastics suppliers and selected retailers to implement several closed-loop recycling options including consumer mail-in, prepaid postage options and collection points through local environmental organizations.

There's a specific CE Industry nomenclature for the time and effort that went into developing this product: "A total waste."

Let's recap:

Optical media is doomed, so why develop a twist on it that will do nothing to keep it around?

Before you know it, movies-to-go will be downloadable from a kiosk to a flash drive, so why not work on developing one of those?

Engineering a product that's pre-destined for the landfill is just dumb.

Circuit City championed copy protected, limited-duration DivX players eleven years ago, a boneheaded move that bad karma is still punishing them for.

Many non-Blu-ray movies are selling at Target and WalMart for $4.99, so why would even the dumbest consumer pay for a movie that self-destructs?

I think Staples is going to regret this.

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Charles Farley said...

This product will be very popular with the Mission Impossible crowd.

brad! said...

"Before you know it, movies-to-go will be downloadable from a kiosk to a flash drive..."

Really? I am going to have to go into a store? This sounds as doomed as the optical devices.

Lee_D said...

Only if you were already at the 7-11 anyways and wanted to pick up a movie. I'm not suggesting that you made a special trip.

Your point is still a very good one though.