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Should the Major Studios Just Give Up?


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#41 of 87 OFFLINE   Jonny P

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Posted June 11 2006 - 01:04 AM

Sure...you don't have to pay tax online, but you do have to pay shipping which sometimes can nullify any savings benefit to purchasing online.

Certain brick-and-mortar stores -- like Target and Wal-Mart -- clear out a considerable amount of older product to make room for newer product. That is due to the fact that they have limited shelf space dedicated to home video. That has always been the case (since VHS days). Neither of those stores is going to dedicate as much self space to "home entertainment" product as say Best Buy.

I think having the world go to strictly to "video on demand" through your personal computer (or a DVR set top box) would be disappointing. The last thing I want are a bunch of "handmade" copies of movies and music lying around.

Sure...I have purchased music from iTunes, but it feels like it lacks "permanence" (plus, I can only make a disc with that particular song 8 times).

#42 of 87 OFFLINE   Amy Mormino

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Posted June 11 2006 - 02:48 AM

I'm sure that when downloading on demand is available on a widespread level (and I really think this will be coming fairly soon), there will be ways to make it more permanent. Perhaps fans or the studios themselves can offer custom-made extras or disc and box art.

Downloading really is the best hope for a lot of these shows. A number of the big studios just won't give their product to smaller companies, no matter how much we would like them to.

#43 of 87 OFFLINE   dany

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Posted June 11 2006 - 02:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Riley
I have a theory about the major studios in regard to tv on dvd: they're lazy. They (naturally) only care about releasing the most popular current shows on television. It's a no-brainer that "Lost" is going to sell big. Or "Desperate Housewives." Or "My Name is Earl," or anything else that is currently popular. It's EASY to package and distribute such shows.

To me, this is kind of stupid...we just SAW all those shows, first-run! To me, the fun of tv on dvd is seeing stuff you CAN'T see on tv at the moment: forgotten shows, shows that haven't seen much syndication, shows that are chopped in syndication. That's what I want on dvd, that's what I NEED on dvd, because I don't HAVE it, and I can't get it!

As we're all increasingly aware, the major studios have become lax in following up season sets of their own releases. There are at the moment probably dozens of major television shows in need of a volume two. Dynasty, Night Court, Everwood, Who's the Boss and American Dreams probably get talked about the most, but there are more. How about Too Close for Comfort? Anybody missing that? Is anybody worried that we'll never see another Gimme A Break, Hart to Hart or Fantasy Island volume? I am.

My feeling is that the major studios own so many titles that they don't give a damn about any of them. Why take the time and trouble to digitally remaster a 20 year old sitcom, secure and settle the music rights and do the marketing research, when you can poop out a zillion units of "Desperate Housewives" knowing it's going to be a huge hit on dvd? I understand this p.o.v., but I most certainly do not have to like it.

If the major studios don't care about their older catalog of titles, then fine. They need to license the older shows to other packagers who care about the shows, and will take the time and trouble to do them right. I am told that Warners, for one, doesn't license out its own properties. Maybe they should, because from what I saw from the recent chat, they only really care about popular, current shows and animation, (which is immune to time, apparently).

In that regard, I think 3's Company is the perfect example of what should be done with an older property. I haven't read a single complaint about the quality of those dvds, the price points, the pace of the releases, or the dvd extras. In other words, the fans of that show have been satisfied. And yet it came out from the relatively small Anchor Bay. My conclusion to all this seems to be that the little guys can do what the big guys can not. If the majors have no interest in their properties, then let the minors do the work. That's the only way we're ever going to see good tv dvds. The major studios can invest their time in easily producing the hottest, most popular and current tv shows out there. That's easy. Leave the harder job of producing older, in some cases forgotten shows to the little guys who care about this stuff.

Its all about money. Cheap to put out on DVD and even mild sales will earn them profit.
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#44 of 87 OFFLINE   Jonny P

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Posted June 11 2006 - 03:20 AM

I think part of it is a combination of "time" and "manpower."

Just think about the number of shows that have been released since 2000. The amount is staggering.

You have to remember that smaller companies like Anchor Bay produced DVDs of movies because of their earlier deals to create LaserDiscs.

Back in the 90s (when LaserDisc was the main digital format), a lot of studios simply didn't "get on board" and produce titles "in house." As such, companies like Anchor Bay and Criterion came along and were able to strike deals with studios to produce some of those films.

As such, you saw movies like "The Black Hole" getting distributed by a company other than the studio on LaserDisc and an early DVD release. Since then, that title has been brought back "in house" and is being manufactured and distributed by Disney.

Personally, I am amazed at all of the catalog TV titles that have been released the past 6 years. It is astounding. I don't find the selection to be "lacking" at all.

You simply can't expect studios to release every show ever made.

Ten years ago, DVD was a fledgling format (at best) with very few movie titles.

The fact that we've seen this many TV properties get released in the past 5 years is fantastic.

#45 of 87 OFFLINE   Scott_F_S

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Posted June 11 2006 - 05:23 AM

Quote:
The Anchor Bay guys are hobbyists and know how to market this older material, because they love it as much as the fans. Either the studios need to do more licensing of this stuff, or they need to develop in-house sub-labels that are more knowledgeable about the older material and are more focused on the marketing end.

First of all, in order to be a seller, you have to have a buyer. Just because a major studio opens its vaults and makes its catalog available to smaller distributors doesn't necessarily mean any smaller distributor would be interested. In order for a smaller distributor to stay in business, it has to carefully pick and choose the titles it thinks can be a home run before they can afford to commit to them. That means a select few, not everything that exists out there.

In any event, the smaller labels and even in-house sub-labels would not be equipped to release every damn thing available just because five or six people have said they want it. Using your same argument, the hobbyists and those more knowlegeable about the older material are probably even more intuitively aware that some particular titles are going to be losers.

Even the more knowlegeable people among the smaller labels still have a sense of business acumen and aren't going to bankrupt their company to release every danged title anyone has ever heard of because about 12 people would buy it as long as they have a few extra bucks in their pocket.

#46 of 87 OFFLINE   Jeff Willis

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Posted June 11 2006 - 06:17 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonny P
Sure...you don't have to pay tax online, but you do have to pay shipping which sometimes can nullify any savings benefit to purchasing online.

I'm another "dinasaur" Posted Image I rarely buy DVD's at local stores for the same reasons as Michael. I never pay shipping charges since my orders are all over the $25.00 amount (Amazon) or are from DDD (free shipping). The one drawback from online buying is the returns/exchanges. I admit it's an inconvenience to return via postal, but outlets such as Amazon make it pretty easy (printable labels, no return shipping fee). Aside from the waiting to receive an exchange, online's a breeze for me anyway. I've also had no problems (so far) from Amazon with returning a defective set that's outside the 30-day time window. They've always sent me an exchange set without a problem.

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#47 of 87 OFFLINE   Glenn Overholt

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Posted June 11 2006 - 07:08 AM

More from the 'online' crowd. I used to buy at least 10 titles at a time, and do that about once a month, and then ship it 2nd day air.
Sure, that might run me an extra $15. but divided up that's about $1.50 each. If that is still too high just think about the price of gas, driving and parking, finding what you want, and standing in line! You can have it!

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#48 of 87 OFFLINE   Jonny P

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Posted June 11 2006 - 11:32 AM

Back in the day (say 2000ish) I ordered many DVDs at Amazon.com. Posted Image

Believe me, I understand the appeal.

I actually found that it was "too easy" to buy DVDs that way. Posted Image Well...for me at least.

Returns and exchanges on TV sets is a big reason why I buy at the store. I have found that retailers are very good about exchanges and you can open up a new set and look at it right there in the store before you leave to see if it has any scratches, etc.

That was a big deal for me last year with all of the sets with "overlapping" disc holders. Fortunately, studios this year seem to be going with dual slim-line cases for TV sets (yippee!)

#49 of 87 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted June 11 2006 - 11:46 AM

Quote:
Is anybody worried that we'll never see another Gimme A Break, Hart to Hart or Fantasy Island volume?
Well...um...no. Not really. (Not re. these examples anyway, even though I love Stefanie Powers....but I know what ya mean.) Posted Image

#50 of 87 OFFLINE   Katherine_K

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Posted June 11 2006 - 11:51 AM

For me it depends on how much I want something, and how much I'll save or not save from buying online. I work for a warehouse club in a back office so I generally look up the inventory before the street date of something and see if it's cheaper at work than on Amazon. It usually is if my company is carrying it. If we're not, and it's not something I'm that attached to getting I'll order it online.

Of the stuff on my wish list currently... my guess is that I'll be buying Conviction from Amazon because we dont' carry a lot of Universal titles... and maybe the Pretender simply because it will come out during a period when I wont have much time to watch... but almost everything else that is in my sights are things I'd like to have on the street date vs. waiting for amazon's free super saver shipping to get to me.

#51 of 87 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted June 11 2006 - 11:54 AM

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#52 of 87 OFFLINE   Jay_B!

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Posted June 11 2006 - 01:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by David VP
[/b]
Well...um...no. Not really. (Not re. these examples anyway, even though I love Stefanie Powers....but I know what ya mean.) Posted Image

actually, I'd personally at least love to get all of the Dolph Sweet seasons of Gimme A Break, I can do without the NY episodes though

#53 of 87 OFFLINE   David Von Pein

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Posted June 11 2006 - 01:47 PM

Yes...Dolph was 'sweet'. Posted Image But not sweet enough for me to want to own large hunks of "G.A.B.".

#54 of 87 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted June 11 2006 - 02:53 PM

The fact that two different companies released the show in two different countries may cannibalize sales for Gimme a Break in the long run. The only place I saw ads for the American set was on...TVOne's Gimme a Break marathon.

Quote:
How about Too Close for Comfort? Anybody missing that?

The first season set was made up entirely of cut episodes and a corrected version was never released. Thus, when word got out it probably hurt sales.

I never, ever pre-order due to the large amounts of bastardized shows available. I bought Gimme a Break at Best Buy the day it was released only after I confirmed from a review that the episodes were uncut.

Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then.


#55 of 87 OFFLINE   Jay_B!

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Posted June 11 2006 - 02:58 PM

well, I see that as a plus for fans of the show. If Universal doesn't release season 2, maybe the Canadian company just might

#56 of 87 OFFLINE   Ethan Riley

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Posted June 12 2006 - 06:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob W
As businessmen ( and women! ), why would the studios want to license out assets to competitors who will then compete with said studios for consumer dollars and shelf space ? The DVD market has stopped growing and it's a jungle out there right now getting titles on shelves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott_F_S
Even the more knowlegeable people among the smaller labels still have a sense of business acumen and aren't going to bankrupt their company to release every danged title anyone has ever heard of because about 12 people would buy it as long as they have a few extra bucks in their pocket.

This thread isn't about the reality of marketing and it was not created out of ignorance. I am very well aware of how business works and the economic realities of tv on dvd. We already know that dvd sales have saturated. So? If that's the case, and these dvd producers want to survive, then maybe they need to come up with new ideas for creating, marketing and distributing dvds. This thread was created so people could discuss new ideas outside of the sandbox; rather than having that sand kicked back in their faces.
 

 


#57 of 87 OFFLINE   Scott_F_S

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Posted June 13 2006 - 05:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethan Riley
This thread isn't about the reality of marketing and it was not created out of ignorance. I am very well aware of how business works and the economic realities of tv on dvd. We already know that dvd sales have saturated. So? If that's the case, and these dvd producers want to survive, then maybe they need to come up with new ideas for creating, marketing and distributing dvds. This thread was created so people could discuss new ideas outside of the sandbox; rather than having that sand kicked back in their faces.

OK. Not sure what it is, then, that you're looking for. Maybe if you threw a fresh idea out there to spark the discussion ...?

#58 of 87 OFFLINE   Andrew Bunk

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Posted June 13 2006 - 09:15 AM

I for one am glad they release new shows. I never watched Lost in Season 1 for some reason. I devoured the set in two days and am now hooked.

The best policy is a balance of old and new.
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#59 of 87 OFFLINE   Jay_B!

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Posted June 13 2006 - 09:27 AM

me too, I don't get why companies WOULDN'T release current shows that guarentee high sales. Buena Vista has likely made a mint off the Lost, Desperate Housewives and Grey's Anatomy DVD's, for the "you just watched those" argument, there are a lot of people checking those shows out on DVD who never watched them UNTIL DVD. We live in an ADD/on-demand society, it's not like the old days where everyone would gather around the tube to watch Cosby, some people work at night, some people are doing other things, some people are watching other things. Not everyone has DVR's either. Personally, I am glad that with all the current shows I'm into, knowing that in a matter of months I'll be able to own them.

Okay, I also believe more 50's-80's shows need to be released on DVD, but not at the expense of the current shows not coming out as well. There are a lot of us who are happy to be caught up on a show every Sept before a new season begins.

#60 of 87 OFFLINE   michael_ks

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Posted June 13 2006 - 09:54 AM

Quote:
Okay, I also believe more 50's-80's shows need to be released on DVD, but not at the expense of the current shows not coming out as well. There are a lot of us who are happy to be caught up on a show every Sept before a new season begins.

And then there are those of us who neither subscribe to cable or satellite who just want the shows from the 50s-80s...


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