Amazon Includes Free Digital Rental With Physical Disc Purchases

Posted Fri Dec 11, 2009 at 10:00 AM PST by Mike Attebery

Customers who purchase select DVD and Blu-ray movies from Amazon will be getting an added bonus with their purchase. A free digital rental, or full copy, of the film will be instantly added to their digital libraries at no extra cost.

There are companies that get digital distribution, and those that don’t. Amazon seems to get it. They sell MP3s at a reasonable price and were DRM free before a lot of companies were willing to go that route. They’re getting their On Demand service on to every device they possibly can, and now they’re giving free digital copies with physical purchases.

Over 300 discs qualify, but as that number includes both Blu-ray and standard DVDs as well as different versions of each , the actual amount of titles sits somewhere around 100-150. The list is impressive though. Classics like 'The Wizard of Oz,' 'The Terminator' and 'The Usual Suspects' all come with a free digital rental. Newer films such as 'Funny People' and 'Bruno' benefit from the bonus rental as well.

From the Terms of Service it certainly looks like this is something Amazon plans on continuing for new release films. According to one of the rules “If you purchase the qualifying DVD or Blu-ray disc as a pre-order, you will not be able to watch the Amazon Video On Demand version until the applicable DVD or Blu-ray disc is released.”

Grabbing a legal digital copy of a film – albeit a standard definition one – on the same day that it’s released on disc at no extra cost is an effective lure for customers. Allowing instant viewing avoids the “I’d order it online, but I don’t want to wait” mentality, and of course, it gets people using Amazon Video on Demand.

See what people are saying about this story in our forums area, or check out other recent discussions.

Tags: High-Def Retailing, Industry Trends, Amazon (all tags)