Walgreen Co., a pharmaceutical chain operating in the US and Puerto Rico since the beginning of the last century, will begin in the next few months to offer an additional service that has little to do with medicines and health. Soon in the 6000 “Walgreens” scattered around the American continent will appear multimedia kiosks capable of printing DVD movies at the request of the consumer.
A deal that promises to be greedy – especially for the majors – made possible by the latest initiatives of the DVD Copy Control Association consortium, which recently updated its standards and consequently enlarged the pool of potential recipients of the license to use the historical CSS protection, still used on the original video discs.
A win-win perspective, that of DVD-on-demand which allows retailers to diversify their offer and at the same time guarantees producers (i.e. in Hollywood) additional revenues on not very recent cinematographic works, whose marketing moreover, it does not require additional costs for packaging and distribution of physical media.
Expected for the next few months, the DVD-print kiosks will allow you to choose the film from a vast digital catalog and subsequently to burn it in 15 minutes on a special medium thanks to the use of Sonic Solutions’ Qflix software. The disc obtained will in effect be a usable DVD, according to the protagonists of the story, with all the devices capable of working with the standard.
As far as we know, discs burned with Qflix are protected with only CSS technology, no more and no less like any DVD, with all the consequences of the case for portability and usability of the contents on any kind of device that can be connected to a suitably equipped PC. The prospect of having DVD-on-demand outlets also seems to interest chains traditionally closer to the entertainment world. It is not the first time that such a project has been thought of, obviously, but the names in the field are now at the forefront.
“The ability to burn is an ideal complement to our Movielink download service – Blockbuster spokesman Randy Hargrove told Reuters – as it will eventually allow consumers to record the films onto their hard drives or DVDs for future use.” If Walgreen’s initiative proves to be a success, the reseller will obviously consider installing DVD-print kiosks in its stores.
According to Kurt Scherf, an analyst at Parks Associates, there is finally a good chance the industry you realize considerable income over time : for 2011, the expert expects annual revenues of up to 1.3 billion dollars. The studios currently earn $ 24 billion a year from DVD sales and rentals.