Lots of folks may remember DIVX, the massively overhyped self-destructing DVDs from Circuit City that failed
back in 1999. But what fewer people realize is that this terrible and wasteful idea shows up every couple of years. And each time, it fails miserably. In 2001 some no name company claimed that it was doing disposable DVDs correctly
, claiming they had learned from the failures of DIVX. Turns out, they hadn't. Then in 2003, Disney acted as if the idea was entirely brand new and got everyone excited about disposable DVDs
that would self-destruct. Guess what? That failed too when no one bought them
(amusingly, Disney duped a Reuters reporter into claiming there was "exploding interest"
in disposable DVDs at the same time that stores were literally throwing the discs away
). In 2005, Disney sold off the technology to some other company who insisted that they were going to do it "right" and there would be a huge market
for these discs. Heard anything about them since? Me neither.
So here we are in 2008, and reader Nick Burns
alerts us to the news of a German company excitedly entering this market
with a product that sounds almost identical to the Disney version (using a chemical that renders the content unreadable in 48-hours). Somehow, even with a German accent, I don't see this latest attempt having much of a chance. It's not too difficult to understand why: nothing about a disposable self-destructing DVD adds value for the end-user.