Fox Makes 24 DVDs Available As Soon As The Season Ends

from the about-time... dept

I have to admit that, for all the insistence from movie industry folks about the importance of "windows" between releases in different formats, it's never made any sense to me that movies aren't released in multiple formats at the same time. In fact, I still can't figure out why the movie studios don't have DVDs of the movie you just saw for sale as you walk out of the theater. Offer up the DVDs with a discount if you have a ticket from the showing, and if the movie was really good, the DVD has lots of extras, and the price is reasonable, plenty of people would buy it right up -- rather than needing to remember months later. So consider me surprised and impressed that Fox made sure that the DVD for the latest season of the show 24 was available the day after the season ended. It's not quite the same as having DVDs of movies available, but it's close. Of course, the studio also decided not to do much marketing for the DVD release, fearing that people wouldn't watch the finale if they knew they could buy it on DVD the next day. Of course, they could also just record it with their DVR, but who's counting?
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Filed Under: 24, dvds, tv shows

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  1. icon
    PaulT (profile), 22 May 2009 @ 10:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hmmm... so, you attack me for questioning your assumptions with another group of biased assumptions? Interesting...

    "Assumption 1: Not so - but if the DVD is widely available, there is potential that less people will see the movie in the theater."

    There is also potential that many more people will buy it while the hype is at its peak rather than months later. It's foolish to assume that the potential theatrical audience outweighs the DVD market, especially in a climate where "piracy" from those forced to wait is supposedly such a big issue.

    "Assumption 2: Not so - but the vast majority of people who have seen a movie on DVD wouldn't pay to see it again in a theater."

    ...and many would, especially as they know the movie's good and would be enhanced by the theatrical experience. No, people might not go to watch a movie that they hated a second time, but a great movie in 3D, in comfortable seats and a massive soundsystem? Maybe.

    "Assumption 3: Not so - but again, see assumption 1 - if you put the DVD out there right away, you may take some movie goers away and turn them into home viewers."

    Again, MAY do so. You also MAY sell the DVD to people who would not have bothered 6 months later. It's hard to come up with hard stats with this kind of thing, but you are only assuming something that matches *your* own biases and leaves out a huge potential audience.

    "The delay time is also marketing"

    Indeed. What is marketing? The action of trying to get someone to want to buy your product. As an example of how it's a waste of time doing this several times, I currently want to watch the new Sam Raimi horror movie Drag Me To Hell. However, I'm unlikely for various personal reasons to make it to the cinema over the next few weeks.

    If I was allowed to buy the DVD or even a reasonably-priced download right now, I'd do so and no sale would be lost. In fact, if I really enjoy it, I could recommend it to friends and maybe they'd watch it at the cinema. However, because of marketing, I'm not allowed to. This leaves me 2 options: wait or pirate. If I wait, there might be movies I'm more interested in at the time of the DVD release and I might not pick up the DVD until it's in a bargain bin (far less profit for the studio).

    You're assuming that the lost revenue from myself is made up from others. I say that's unlikely, or at least a highly flawed assumption.

    "I am less likely to buy a DVD today for a movie I saw last night"

    Really? Our opinions differ. I'm sure that many millions of copies of The Dark Knight, for example, would have shifted in theaters if they had been available. More than have shifted now? I don't know, but I'd say it's unlikely to have been less. I dare say that DVD sales would increase, just as I've always maintained that being able to buy the book or soundtrack of a movie would be a sensible and lucrative addition ot a cinema's lobby, if the prices were right.

    "By staggering the delivery, there potential is that they will choose more than one delivery method"

    On the other hand, you're also increasing the possibility that people won't bother. Maybe they would have bought the DVD, but 6 months later decide not to bother and just add it to their Netflix queue. Maybe they just decided to download a pirate copy instead.

    "Why turns 2 or 3 potential sales into 1?"

    Why turn a potential 1 or 2 sale into 0? Again, you're assuming that the theatrical audience and home audience are the same, and they're often not. Those "pirates"? Merely potential customers whose needs are not being met in the hopes that their peers can be leeched several times for the same movie. Why not expand the potential initial customer base by including those who don't go to the cinema?

    Just as Netflix, cable and iTunes don't necessarily steal sales revenue from the DVD market, there should be nothing wrong with allowing the customer to choose what's right for them. If placing artificial restrictions on your customer base is the only way you have of selling a product (in this case, the theatrical experience), maybe you should examine what's making that product so worthless in a free market...

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