Friday, December 02, 2005

Consumers give digital content kiosks the thumbs up

According to this article in InformationWeek:
A newly introduced unmanned kiosk that lets consumers burn movies, music, and other media onto CDs is getting huge interest, with three Fortune 500 companies about to test the kiosks and others already rolling them out.

The tremendous success of Apple Computer's iTunes Music Store is breathing life into digital kiosks in retail stores. And not just for video clips and music, but for games, movies, ring tones, and more.

"Digital movies are gaining some momentum, with McDonald's piloting DVD rental kiosks. Cell phone mobile content and DVD-based movie burning are seen as future applications," said Bennett Mason, AIDC senior analyst at Venture Development Corp. "Starbucks has already installed CD-burning kiosks in several locations."

"There is a lot of interest in this emerging application from small and large kiosk suppliers," said Bennett Mason, AIDC senior analyst at Venture Development Corp. "Many consider it a potential "killer app" with strong growth potential."
We've seen interest in burn-your-own kiosks come and go over the years. On the plus side, the access to content can be convenient, and an impulse buy of a DVD full of content can be extremely high-margin. On the down side, the kiosks have traditionally been expensive, complex, and prone to all sorts of physical and software problems. Plus, with broadband penetrating an increasingly large number of American households, one has to wonder if it wouldn't just be easier to download and burn all of that content from home.

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