In an effort to free up shelf space, companies like Wal-Mart and Target are looking into "in-store DVD-burning kiosks."
According to Home Media Retailing, the concept would work as follows, "consumers could buy any movie they want by browsing on a computer connected to the Internet. Once a consumer requested a title, the movie would be downloaded while the consumer waits, and then either burned to a DVD or downloaded directly to a mobile device, such as an Apple iPod or a Sony PSP."
"I think manufacturing on demand is one of the holy grails of this business," said Ron Sanders, Warner Home Video president. "We're getting further pressure to reduce shelf space at retail, and yet the amount of titles we have in distribution is growing exponentially."
The feeling is that the technology is ready to support something like this but content providers have been slow to get on board. This hesitation is due to things like "piracy and licensing issues."
There is talk that these kiosks could become a reality in stores as early as 2007. This would coincide with consumers being able to burn DVDs "they downloaded over the Internet, from such services as Movielink and CinemaNow."
Interestingly, "CD-burning kiosks exist" but they aren't nearly as easy to utilize as the "iTunes Music Store or other online services."