If you want to copy that movie you already own to the Ultraviolet cloud at your local Walmart, you may need to pull out your wallet. Reports are circulating that this "convenience" will cost as much as four dollars a title.
Walmart is holding a press conference later today in conjunction with Universal, Paramount, Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures and Fox (all Ultraviolet partners). According to unnamed sources by Streaming Media Blog, it will be held to announce that the mega-chain will soon offer the Ultraviolet conversion service at its many stores. The service is also said to cost between two and four buck per movie for the right to access the content from an Ultraviolet cloud storage locker (depending on whether you're converting a DVD or Blu-Ray).
That's right, even though you already shelled out once for the hard-copy, you would have to pay again to get a digital copy of it. And while one could argue that you're receiving a new copy in a new format (I mean, nobody complained when titles had to be bought on DVD to replace VHS) and the incurred hosting costs for storing the content validate the cost. Except, according to Streaming Media Blog,
It costs the studios almost nothing to store the movie in the cloud, about two cents per movie, and it only costs about four cents, at most, for them to pay a CDN to stream the movie to the user. So at $2 per DVD, a user would have to watch the movie 50 times from the cloud before the studio was losing money from digital.
Not only would the studios be getting paid twice for the same content, they'd be exceptionally well-compensated for it. So, who wants to figure an over/under for how many times this fee will be referred to as "nominal"? [Streaming Media Blog]