I read this story over at TechCrunch and canâ€™t really get over it. In short, Wal-Mart gives you the option to buy a number of digital versions of the movie Superman Returns when you pick up the DVD. The movie download ranges from $1.97 to $3.97, itâ€™s not such a huge expense, but the whole model pisses me off.
Why should I pay extra for a movie I can rerecord in any other format myself? I canâ€™t get over the fact that retail (and the companies backing them, of course â€“ theyâ€™re all in the same sinking ship) still wonâ€™t sell me the actual license to the movie, album or whatever, and then let me do what I want with it. If I want to watch Superman Returns on my PSP, let me do that, better yet, help me, â€˜cause you sure canâ€™t stop me from doing it so youâ€™d better stay on my good side anyway.
Wal-Mart folks, how about this: Sell the DVD, offer an additional downloads package with every bloody format known to man for $2 extra, and donâ€™t be asshats about the licensing. Let me play my movie where I want, with easily accessible downloads if I want it for my new media player, and youâ€™ll have one happy and returning customer. Itâ€™s boring to re-encode movies in new formats, better if I can throw you some change and save the time.
Then again I donâ€™t really care. Wal-Mart has no stores in Sweden. I will however pitch this story to prominent Swedish bloggers and let them do the localization work.
Letâ€™s face it: Retail needs to push forward. While Wal-Mart isnâ€™t just whining about declining sales and actually doing something is good per se, it still isnâ€™t even a half decent solution theyâ€™re offering. Perhaps itâ€™s just a PR stunt, with them wanting to look tech savvy and willing to embrace the new technology? Then Iâ€™ll just tell you this: Rethink your strategy. This one wonâ€™t work.