Having a hard time choosing between purchasing a movie in a streaming format or a physical copy of the disc? Two major industry players are currently ramping up programs that will give customers access to an online version of a film when they purchase the DVD or Blu-ray Disc.
Amazon has announced a major expansion of their Disc+ program, which provides an instantly downloadable copy of select titles when the DVD or Blu-ray is purchased on the website. Launched in 2009 with only 300 titles available, the service will now offer more than 10,000 films for those interested in the dual-format package.
“When we launched Disc+ On Demand last year, we were excited by the overwhelmingly positive response from our customers,” said Amazon.com category manager Steve Oliver. “Customers love instant gratification, and this program allows customers to watch Disc+ On Demand titles instantly, without having to wait for their DVD or Blu-ray to arrive in the mail.”
On the same day that Amazon made their announcement, it was also revealed that WalMart’s Vudu has teamed up with Disney on an exclusive combination offer for customers who purchase the Toy Story 3 Exclusive Special Edition 3 Disc Set. Those who buy the DVD or Blu-ray from WalMart will also be granted free access to the digital streaming film via Vudu.
“We are excited to be part of this ground breaking offer, coupling physical and digital media in an awesome new way (sort of like when peanut butter first met chocolate),” a Vudu representative posted on the company’s official blog.
I love the idea of having hard copies and digital access to media bundled together, as long as prices aren’t being raised. It would be ideal to have to purchase a particular title only one time and be able to experience it in your living room or digitally on any of your mobile devices. I believe that Amazon, in particular, is moving in the right direction with their service and I hope that WalMart and Vudu expand their offerings in the future.