Date: 10th September 2003

Disney tests self-destruct DVDs


Disney is to sell its movies on disposable "self-destruct" DVDs in a pilot scheme to test consumer reaction.
The discs, which become unreadable after 48 hours, will be on offer in convenience stores and pharmacies.

They will go on sale in four cities to test whether US film watchers will choose them over rented DVDs.

The red DVDs turn an unreadable black 48 hours after their packages are opened, exposing them to oxygen.

The oxygen reacts with the disc in a process similar to how Polaroid film develops.

The DVDs, which are being distributed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment, will carry a suggested price of $6.99 (4.43).

Some retailers are expected to sell them for as little as about $5 (3.16), said Alan Blaustein, chief executive of Flexplay, which owns the self-destruct technology.

The advantage to the disposable DVD format - known as EZ-D - is that such discs can be sold anywhere and never need to be returned.

This potentially makes any retailer a competitor with established US video rental stores such as Blockbuster.

Stores in Texas, Illinois, South Carolina and Missouri will begin stocking the disposable DVDs including titles such as Signs and The Recruit.

Toys R Us, Phillips 66, Circle K, CVS and Walgreens are some of the chains participating.

But conservationists have attacked the idea, fearing disposable discs will simply cause more waste for the environment.

Source: Press Release