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Recyclable Expiring Disc In Comeback at Staples

21 May, 2008 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Expiring discs — albeit now recyclable — are making a comeback.

Flexplay Technologies Inc. last week said it would start selling no-return DVD rentals at 1,550 Staples stores beginning in June.

Atlanta-based Flexplay also distributes discs via kiosks at gas stations, truck stops and The Paradies Shops, which operate more than 500 stores at 60 airports and hotels in the United States and Canada.The discs cost from $4 to $6 and can viewed for up to 48 hours upon removal from their sealed packaging.

Flexplay says it has distribution deals with Paramount, New Line, DreamWorks, Starz Home Entertainment and Warner Bros., among others.

The company is re-introducing time-limited DVDs despite the technology's inauspicious start in 2003 when Walt Disney's short-lived EZ-D movie releases failed to catch on with consumers.

A principle complaint then regarded disposal and environmental issues, including the inability to recycle the used discs.

As a result, Flexplay discs can now be recycled by the consumer, at the point-of-purchase or in postage-paid mailers requested from the company.

The company targets consumers (business travelers and executives) who do not buy or rent movies from traditional outlets due to schedules, late fees or mandatory trips to the video store, said Joe Fuller, EVP of marketing.

He said the number of people who don't rent moves is three-to-four times the number that do rent.

Fuller said Flexplay is a way the customer can watch a movie when they want.

“It is designed to focus on the consumer who is not in the traditional market,” Fuller said. “That's always good news for the studios.”He cited the movie Rush Hour 3, which is available at Flexplay locations in airports.

Fuller said the title was released on DVD last year, but a lot of people still haven't seen it.

“Now they can when they want,” he said. “We're driving that convenience.”

The company will hold a promotional “treasure hunt” contest for its service next month at the Electronic Merchants Association's annual confab in Las Vegas.

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