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
    Mike (profile), 24 May 2009 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Paul, all nice answers, but again, you are making what I consider a classical marketing mistake: Bending over a dollar to pick up a dime. It's what makes the whole Web 2.0 revolution such a laugh at times.

    I'd argue it's the opposite. These are models that involve giving up a penny today in order to get $100 tomorrow. If you can't understand NPV then I can see why this is confusing. But if you look closely you realize the opportunity is much greater.

    Handing a copy of the DVD to movie goers as they leave would just mean that there would be digitally perfect copies of the current movies online getting leeched perfectly

    You're assuming two things, both of which are likely to be incorrect:

    (1) That such perfect digital copies aren't already online. They are. So it doesn't make a difference if the DVDs are available. They have no impact.

    (2) That if you can download the movie it means fewer people will go to the movies. The two things are rarely substitutes. Just as you still go out to eat dinner sometimes rather than eating at home, even though it's more expensive to eat out. You enjoy the better experience. Same with the movies.

    So in order to pick up the dime (selling a DVD at the movie house) you bend over the dollar (selling movie tickets and DVDs over time).

    Wrong wrong wrong. So very wrong. You're giving up the penny (a small set of DVD sales down the road) to get $100 today (a lot more people both going to the movie AND buying the DVD).

    Even in simple terms, why go see a movie at $10 a head when you can get the DVD for $20 right now and watch it with 10 friends at your house? Heck, if you can leech it off the net for free, why bother even paying the $20 for the DVD?

    And yet people do. All the time. Because of the EXPERIENCE of seeing the film in the theaters. The last Star Wars film leaked a few days early.... and was a HUGE box office success, despite the fact that many people downloaded the perfect digital copy for free the night before. But people still wanted the experience.

    If you think people are just buying the content, you have no clue about the movie business.

    Think about it this way: A movie ticket is $10, and a DVD is $20. A movie ticket is good for one person, a DVD can be played over and over. Say on average 5 people watch a DVD (household plus 1 friend). Your per head income is now $4. Every DVD sold would be like killing 5 ticket sales.

    Again, you are making a bunch of assumptions that haven't proven true in the past. Why should they suddenly start proving true now?

    You are falsely assuming lost movie ticket sales, when those are not at all likely to be the case, and you ignoring the INCREASED movie ticket sales from people realizing they get extra benefits for going to the movie (get the DVD cheaper).

    By selling DVDs after the movie is no longer in the theaters means that not only can you sell it to those people who didn't pay a ticket, but there is potential that those who paid for a ticket will also buy it. You have increased you potential DVD income, and you haven't harmed your theater sales.

    Again, you're making a bunch of bad assumptions that we haven't seen to be true at all.

    In waiting for the DVD to be released months later, you've lost all the benefit of the multi-million marketing campaign that came out with the movie. People now need to remember that the movie is out on DVD, so the number of DVDs sold are reduced by a large amount. You also lose the sales from folks who saw the movie and thought they wanted to see it again, but over the months they had to wait gave up on it. You end up losing both movie ticket sales (fewer reasons to go to the movies) and DVD sales.

    You don't want to go into the marketplace with a lower price point than needed to make the sale, and you don't want to cannibalize high profit sales by pushing those customers onto a lower profit option if you don't need to. Why shoot yourself in the foot?

    Marketing 101. If you don't cannibalize your own product that way, someone else will. THen you look like a lame follower. Why not lead the pack?

    Again, are there significantly less DVD sales as a result of not offering the DVD right away while the movie is still in theaters? Probably a few, but the potential costs to the theater boxoffice take isn't worth the risk, now is it?

    I'd argue the exact opposite. Releasing the DVDs at the same time as the movie does a few things: it gives people MORE REASONS to go to the theater to see the DVD, and MORE REASONS to buy the DVD and MORE MARKETING around the DVD as well. You increase sales of both.

    I can't fathom the reasoning in the other direction. Offering customers less? That's never a good marketing strategy.

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