Walgreen Planning DVD-Burning Kiosks To Sell Movies

Sometime next year, Walgreen will introduce kiosks where customers can select and purchase movies—mostly older ones that aren’t as frequently stocked in stores—and have them burned onto DVDs while they wait (for about 15 minutes). Although the idea seems like one that someone should have had years ago, it wasn’t a commercial possibility until last month, when the organization responsible for licensing CSS—the widespread copy restriction software that’s coded into pretty much every Hollywood DVD release—expanded its licensing structure to make room for business models like this one.

This also opens the possibility that movie-download services from companies like Netflix and Blockbuster may be able to offer a way to purchase and create your own DVD hard copy. However, it’s likely that in order to do this, you’d need to purchase special software and/or equipment and/or supplies—and since “studios are not likely to discount DVDs,” we’re curious to see whether they’ll come up with competitive price structures (compared to Amazon, for instance) or choke off yet another possible revenue stream.

“Walgreen sees movie-burning DVD kiosks at stores” [Reuters]
(Photo: randomthoughts)


Edit Your Comment

  1. ry81984 says:

    At least the movie industry gets it.

    If the RIAA did this years ago, filesharing might not have been such a big problem as it is today.

  2. DarthSensei says:

    Sure, because people want to wait 15 minutes to rent a DVD that looks like an Asian pirated version.

  3. mopar_man says:

    Ugh. Walgreens. There’s one being built in my town right across from a drug store that’s been there for years. I guess that’s mostly the city to blame for building all these box stores that are driving the local businesses out.

  4. bravo369 says:

    @ry81984: I agree. this is the kind of forward thinking the RIAA is missing. I wonder how sales would do if you could walk into a store and choose any 10 songs from different bands and it burns them to a CD. I’d be willing to bet that people would rather pay $10 for a CD with 10 songs of their choosing than the current RIAA business model

  5. @DarthSensei:

    1) Buy not rent
    2) Who says it’ll look pirated?

    I think this is a good idea, especially for buying older and/or hard to find titles.

  6. Trai_Dep says:

    If only CSS had done this 4 years ago, whilst everyone was in the second half of their, “OMG I must have more DVDs”. Would have been great for off-the-wall titles, giving a storefront presence for long-tail DVDs.

    Sexied up and including kewl graphic capabilities, it would have been a godsend for the mom-n-pop DVD retailers. And really pretty neat.

    Of course, they waited until Blockbuster and Wal-Mart account for more than half the DVD sales and wonder why off-titles are a nearly commodity item.

    With legit online alternatives and Netflix? Even more late.

    Still, it’s amusing to compare/contrast how the film industry is trying to satisfy consumers vs the music industry.

  7. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    No pricing information? I hope it’s $1 per movie. Otherwise it can’t compete with all the bargain DVD movies that are sold at Best Buy and Circuit City. Those usually go for $6 – $10.

  8. mopar_man says:


    See, now THAT I would pay for. 10 shitty songs and one good one for $16? No thanks.

  9. …our Ralph’s already has this. I had a discussion about it with my stepdaughter this past weekend, in fact. I didn’t know if you had to bring your own DVD or what, so I didn’t stop to look at it too closely though.

  10. Imaginary_Friend says:

    Most movies are such crap these days, I have no interest in buying them in any form. Even if I do happen to find a good one, one viewing is enough.

  11. UpsetPanda says:

    @Imaginary_Friend: Only the movies to be offered at Walgreens are older movies that are not as likely to be stocked by Netflix or Blockbuster. So anyone who has a hankering for an oldie may be able to find it at Walgreens’ kiosks, instead of Blockbuster, where they are inundated with the new releases and have to wade through 200 copies of the newest B-movie blockbusters to get to the good stuff.

  12. louisb3 says:

    @LatherRinseRepeat: Aren’t those movies sold so cheaply because nobody wants to buy them because they’re not any good?

  13. Trai_Dep says:

    @CaffeinatedSquint: have you looked at the Netflix library? I don’t like them b/c they throttle customers that efficiently return DVDs, but loved their back catalog. In fact, one of the key things of their model is that they get awesome churn on the quirky or older titles. There’s a lot of high-quality stuff to be found in older films.

    Blockbuster and Wal-Mart, however, I totally agree.

  14. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @CaffeinatedSquint: I don’t think the “older” movies will be “oldies” per se. From the article, “Studios initially will probably use the kiosks more to give older films a “longer tail” of availability, rather than offering new movies,”.

    Sounds like they’re talking about non-new releases, rather than genuine oldies. If that’s the case, LouisB3 is right. Nobody wants that crap. They’d be better off selling genuine oldies, as you suggest, or better yet, new indies who lack easy distribution for their films.

  15. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @Trai_Dep: Agreed. I dumped Netflix because of their throttling, but their selection was pretty awesome. Head and shoulders above Blockbuster.I had no problem getting most of the indie films I wanted to see, even if they were ten years old or more.

  16. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    I’m currently fighting with blockbuster (I’m on a 3 a time plan, and for the past month have only been getting 2 at a time), I was thinking of switching back to Netflix…as I did find more unusual titles there…but I hated the throttling.

  17. KJones says:


    You speak like someone who thinks anything made before 1980 is ancient. In case you have never looked, 90% of movies in any “100 Best Ever” lists were made before 1980. Read that again: 70% of the film era produced 90% of the best films. You’re lucky if there’s one “Pulp Fiction” or “American Beauty” per decade since 1980, not per year.

    I’d rather watch anything by Alfred Hitchcock than “The Usual Suspects”, and I liked that one. Few video stores carry classics or even know what they are, and the employees are usually minimum wage know-nothings on their second career job after McDonald’s. Getting them to order in a movie they’ve never heard of is like pulling teeth, especially when they don’t give a hoot about typing in the name correctly.

    I dare you: go find Akira Kurosawa’s “Seven Samurai” at Lackluster Video. What’s that? They don’t have a classics section, never mind a foreign section? What a surprise. 9_9

  18. mopar_man says:

    [i]90% of movies in any “100 Best Ever” lists were made before 1980.[/i]

    That’s not surprising. Like most of today’s music, most of the movies released are smoldering piles of feces.

  19. XTC46 says:

    @KJones: I worked at block buster, and we had that movie :)

  20. XTC46 says:

    @KJones: 70% of the film era produced 90% of the best movies ever.

    what percentage of people voting are from the same era as the movie they vote for?

  21. tadowguy says:

    There’s very very very few films that I actually need a physical copy of. I watch it once in the theater, maybe once again on Netflix and then I’m bored of it.

  22. Consumer-X says:

    I just bought one of these KEWL Dymo Disc Painter devices to make all my homemade DVD’s look like professional copies. Personally, I love having hard copies of movies.