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. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 May 2009 @ 7:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Mike, a nice long story, backed up with NOTHING.

    "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)."

    This is the crux of your arguments, and for a guy that keeps pushing "first year economics", you really just don't get it.

    There is no $100 today. That is a massive lie. Where would you find $100 today? Ticket to the movie is $10, the DVD is $20. Where is the $100? Nowhere. Exaggeration to try to make your point look valid?

    You have no proof (not the slightest) that people attending a movie would buy a copy of the movie on the way out. This isn't music, which typically has a high replay value, but a movie, who's replay value is often lost at least in the short term by knowing the ending.

    Most importantly you are ignoring cannibalization of ticket sales, which is hugely important. If the movie is available in various forms day 1, the producers would be trading the highest margin ticket (theaters) to the lower margin ticket (PPV distribution) and everything in between. Only in theaters can they get a full $10 for each person watching. All other methods are lower income streams. They may have a slightly longer income life, but they aren't as high net results.

    The Curious Case of Benjamin Button sold 51 million in tickets it's first week. It has sold 24 million in DVD's it's first week. The difference? The 51 million is almost all topline revenue to the studio, where the 24 million in retail DVD sales might only mean $10 million. Cashwise, it's about a 5 to 1 business. So if you sold 20% more DVDs (because you sold them the same time the movie came out) but you lost 20% of your theater attendance, net the studios lost money on the deal.

    How? 30 million in DVD sales might still only mean $12-$14 million to the studios. 20% less ticket sales on the other side would drop that to 41 million. Net to the studios would be 53-55 million, where as the other way they get 75 million. There are very few investments where you can make 50% on your money in 6 months. You are suggesting they should take 50 or so million now, rather than taking net 75 over 6 months. How odd! I must have missed that part of the economics class, giving your bottom line a haircut.

    "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."

    You would argue it, but without anything to support the argument. Why would people go to the theater to see a DVD? They would just go to Bestbuy or online to Amazon and buy it. Restrictively selling it only to ticket holders inside the theater would likely create a black market of people buying and reselling the DVDs, being the only rental play on the block that has the movie, whatever. If you release the DVD, you have to widely release it - and you also have to release it through all the other channels as well as to not harm those revenue streams.

    More than anything Mike, this is all a very amusing argument from you. You are suggesting the movie people need to sell more shiny discs (how odd coming from you), and you also want them to take less net revenue from their movies to meet your desires.

    it isn't offering the customers less. In fact, it is offering customers significantly more. instead of offering a cluster of overlapping, mutually exclusive experiences, the studios offer a significant number of ways to enjoy a movie, and in many cases, to enjoy that movie again. The theater experience, the DVD "take it home" experience, the PPV experience, the "on the airplane" experience, the rental experience, and so on. Making all of those options available at the same time would APPEAR to be offering more, but in fact you are offering less because you are asking the customer to choose one. The current system allows them to choose more than one option over time.

    Too many choices? http://www.apa.org/monitor/jun04/toomany.html

    As a side note, the too many choices problem is also why the DYI flat model of the music industry you are pushing isn't exactly workable. People tune out.

    Again, nice try Mike, but at least you have the nuts to admit that your entire spiel is based on "I think". Too bad you will like to this post later on as if it is truth.

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