Disney is going ahead with plans to begin selling disposable DVDs on Tuesday with a suggested price of $6.99. The idea is to cut out the rental stores, with the draw for consumers being not having to return the disk when they are finished.
I really don’t get it. They think that people will pay about double the rental price to not have to return the disk? And for the higher price, they have to watch it within 48 hours?
Environmentalists are outraged and planning a “phone Disney” protest. The plan offers some recycling — though not in-store — and consumers will eventually be able to get a new disc in return for six used ones, says Flexplay, which owns the technology. Customers can mail their used DVDs to GreenDisk, a company that recycles old DVDs. Flexplay will cover the cost of recycling the discs. It’s also working to get a collection or drop-off process in place, so people could avoid the cost of mailing in their old EZ-Ds.
So what happened to the advantage of not having to return them?
Saving the silliest part for last, the company also said that by making DVDs cheaper the product would also undercut the incentive to make bootleg copies. But — it’s not cheaper than renting, and nobody in the industry is saying having rentals available helps stem piracy.