Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

Amazon’s Two for One: Buy the DVD, Get the Web Movie Free

land of the lostThis one’s so obvious, the real surprise is that it hasn’t been done before. Amazon, which sells both DVDs and streaming movies over the Web, has packaged them together in a two-for-one deal: Buy the disc and you can watch the movie immediately on your PC.

Amazon (AMZN) gets a two-for-one out of this as well: The promotion will (the company hopes) goose disc sales, which are sputtering, while introducing shoppers to the company’s Web streaming offering, which most people don’t yet know about or use.

As NewTeeVee points out, the chief appeal to consumers here is likely for cheapskates who want to buy a disc for a friend but watch the movie themselves. Nothing wrong with that, methinks. But the problem is that Amazon doesn’t offer the option for that many movies–313, to be exact.

Still, if you’re planning on buying “Land of the Lost” for your pal, maybe as a prank, but are jonesing to see it yourself, maybe because you’re drunk, this is the option for you.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work