We've gone over the numerous ways that movie studios can compete against things like movie downloads, but what about counterfeit DVDs sold on the street? In many cases, these DVDs sell because there's really no alternative. That's why it seemed to make sense for studios to try releasing movies on DVD at the same time they're released in the theaters. However, Aaron deOliveira points us to a fascinating experiment by Universal Pictures over in Russia, where counterfeit DVDs are seen as a very big issue for the movie industry. Rather than sending out their own fake police force to rough up street vendors, they're actually competing by selling "Cheap'n'early DVDs". These are DVDs that come out much sooner (four weeks) after the movie is released, but the quality (and the price) are much lower. A few months later, the studio comes out with the full version of the DVD release -- much higher quality with lots of extras. In other words, the cheap and early DVDs are clearly just to compete against the counterfeit DVDs on the street. It's still not entirely clear why they need the separate release windows rather than just giving people a choice, but it does seem like an interesting experiment.
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