Earlier this week the Beatles back catalogue was released to huge success and the Beatles Rock Band game became the talk of the town. Then today I read about Microsoft and Tesco teaming up to offer free online only content to people who buy physical DVDs.
To me these are little more than a late flourish from the physical media world as it plays the last cards in a losing hand. A brilliantly executed flourish maybe, particularly with the Beatles box set, but nothing more.
The Beatles deal is a one off – hugely popular band not available legally online with a fan base that is largely too old to be interested in illegal downloads (forgive me). I can’t think of many (any?) other bands for whom this would work.
The Microsoft deal is of even less significance – it is a nice idea to package up free online content with a DVD and might be enough to get people buying from Tesco rather than Asda, but I very much doubt it will be enough to persuade someone to get in their car and go to Tesco if/when they have the option of downloading from the web and watching on their TV.