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Beachbody seem to be stuck in the 1990s

I was excited to find that Beachbody has released the latest in their P90x fitness series, with the new P90 product. I’ve been a P90x enthusiast for years, and would love to continue to compensate and reward Beachbody by purchasing a copy of P90.

The problem, however, is that the P90 product is only delivered as a physical set of DVDs. I don’t own a DVD player, and even if I did I would anyway need a digital version of the product. Why? Because I view videos on my MacBook Air, my AppleTV and my iPad—none of which have a DVD player.

Clicking the Live Help feature on the Beachbody website, I had the following conversation with “Shankar”:

  • Shankar — Thank you for contacting Beachbody, my name is Shankar. If at any time you feel you’re not receiving excellent service or feel unsatisfied with what I am doing, please let me know immediately and I will do all within my power to accomplish your request. How may I help you?

  • Matt — P90 is a video product that’s delivered on DVD. My computer (a MacBook Air) can play videos, but doesn’t have a DVD, which is a technology from the previous decade. Does Beachbody not offer a download version of the product?

  • Shankar — I am sorry for the inconvenience caused to you. Please be informed that at this time, the application is not designed for downloaded version due to privacy purpose.

  • Matt — What specifically is the privacy issue?

  • Shankar — Copy right issue.

  • Matt — I wouldn’t copy the product. It would be for me alone.

  • Shankar — I do understand that. But someone may to miss use our workout programs. However, I’ll pass what you’ve said on to our support team.

  • Matt — If I purchased a downloadable version of the product, someone might miss a workout program? I don’t understand what you mean by that. And that’s somehow related to copy right?

  • Shankar — Please be informed that at this time, the application is not designed for downloaded version.

Delivering your video product exclusively on DVD will not stop people from downloading it on the internet. The music industry learned this years ago. Steve Jobs and Apple demonstrated with iTunes, however, that people will pay for convenience and quality. The only consequence of not providing a digital version of your product, will be to drive those people who need a digital version and would otherwise be willing to pay for it—as well as many of those simply looking for the quickest path to digital—to look elsewhere.

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