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Season Sets vs Volume Sets


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#1 of 34 Mark Talmadge

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Posted March 27 2008 - 07:35 PM

What is the deal with studios these days? For a very long time, studios were happy enough to release all of our favourite shows as season sets. Now, these self-same studios have begun releasing television shows in volume sets, breaking up one season so that they can profit more from their boxed set releases.

It's bad enough that most of us have rather extensive DVD libraries when it comes to television shows. The last we need is for studios to to break up season sets into volume releases in an attempt to make more profit for the studios.

These studios are risking a lot on this strategy by angering fans of these television shows, because, believe it or not, there are a lot of people who aren't willing to spend an arm and a leg for a complete season. If you waltz into a Best Buy, usually the retail set for a Magnum P.I. season set will run you around $45-50 where it has a MSRP of $60. But, when a studio breaks up a season set, they drop that price by $10 and end up stiffing fans with no bonus feartures, such as commentaries, deleted scenes, behind the scenes and whatnot and just offer a bare bones set, consisting of 12 episodes. It's hard to believe that studios cannot fit 22-26 episodes in a complete season set.

This is the main reason why I have not and will not EVER purchase a television show when the seasons are broken up in half, just because studios want to gouge fans on the price.

I don't know about anyone here, but if the studios continue on their reckless path I'll just stop buying DVD sets outright and resort to downloading them from Rapidshare websites and burning them to blank DVD-r's.

Now, before anyone starts complaining, bear in mind that I have spent over ten grand on DVD boxed sets so it's not like I don't support the industry. I'd rather buy the real deal, but these studios need to understand that fans are tired of being shafted by their DVD releases and not receiving the benefit from 'halved sets.' If you break the sets up to save money or make more profits, then pass those savings onto the consumer. The consumer drives the studios profits, if you anger the consumer, then you anger your profit margin and word of mouth among consumers is the worst thing a company can get.

For me? Everytime I see a consumer about to purchase a volume set, I go out of my way to encourage them not to and explain to them that they are actually paying over-inflated prices for as much as it costs for a full season set and most of the time, they pass on their initial purchase. I consider it my civic duty to discourage the continuing support of these studios and their deceptive practices.

If a season set costs a MSRP of $60, then drop the MSRP by half if the studio releases a half season set, it's only fair to the consumer who supports the studio. With Battlestar Galactica? Season 3 was $60 MSRP. However, do you think that Universal will drop the MSRP for Season 4.0 to $30 for the MSRP? No, they won't. They'll drop it to either $40 or $50.

#2 of 34 Joe Karlosi

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Posted March 27 2008 - 10:29 PM

We've been through this a thousand times, it seems. I think all of us would prefer whole season sets, but the fact is that this is just not going to always happen for us, and the bottom line should be that at least we're able to own our favorite shows on DVD, whether the seasons are split or whole. That's the main thing. I don't think fans are spiting anyone but themselves when they refuse to buy split seasons, and in the long run it will only discourage future releases and seasons from coming out at all.

Quote:
Everytime I see a consumer about to purchase a volume set, I go out of my way to encourage them not to and explain to them that they are actually paying over-inflated prices for as much as it costs for a full season set and most of the time, they pass on their initial purchase. I consider it my civic duty to discourage the continuing support of these studios and their deceptive practices.

And I hope they don't listen to you. What are you accomplishing by this crusade? All that will happen is that the studio will interpret this as there being zero interest in the show in question, and we'll never get anymore releases. Burn your dvd-r's all you like; I'll still buy THE FUGITIVE in volume sets rather than not get it officially released at all. Yes, they are gouging us and it stinks; welcome to the world.

#3 of 34 Mark Talmadge

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Posted March 27 2008 - 11:29 PM

Yeah, but when the studios are pricing the half season sets at just about the same as they are the full season sets, you have to wonder. The studios are starting to get as ridiculous at their pricing on half season sets as the BBC does with its season sets.

Sure, I would love to pick up on the Fugitive, Love Boat and the Untouchables but I can't justify spending $35-40 on a 12-13 episode (half season) boxed set. The price just doesn't warrant it.

The content on these half season sets does not, in my strong opinion, justify the current prices that studios attach to the partial season sets.

#4 of 34 Corey3rd

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Posted March 28 2008 - 01:39 AM

they are businesses and not charities. Their job is to increase profits for the sake of their shareholders and to maintain their jobs. Sure it stinks, but at least CBS seems active in making sure the second half of the season gets announced shortly after the first half is released.

just remember that these shows were not supposed to be sold directly to the consumer.
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#5 of 34 jamoon2006

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Posted March 28 2008 - 01:47 AM

Plus, I find with Amazon pre-orders, you can usually get the half-season volume sets for anywhere to $10 to $15 less than the cost of a full-season, particularly with Paramount. I pre-ordered Volume 1 of Cannon for about $22. A full season of, say Mission: Impossible goes for about $35.

While I would rather see these in full season sets, at least there is some break in price.

#6 of 34 Corey3rd

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Posted March 28 2008 - 02:40 AM

Paramount just had a sale at Amazon with a lot of their half season sets knocked down to 45% off. Don't tell people to illegally download shows. Just keep an eye out for the sales.

if Quinn Martin Jr. isn't complaining about the split seasons....
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#7 of 34 Bob Hug

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Posted March 28 2008 - 02:44 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Corey3rd
Paramount just had a sale at Amazon with a lot of their half season sets knocked down to 45% off. Don't tell people to illegally download shows. Just keep an eye out for the sales.

if Quinn Martin Jr. isn't complaining about the split seasons....

Plus there's always these web sites to help you find good deals . . . .

Movies - PriceGrabber.com

or

Compare DVD Prices Online at DVD Price Search - The Smartest DVD Price Comparison Engine Online!

#8 of 34 Jeff*H

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Posted March 28 2008 - 03:02 AM

My favorite show is Hawaii Five-0 and I've been fortunate that CBS is putting them out (for now) in season sets because they sell well. Should they switch to volumes at some point, I'm still in for each and every one they release. Same with many other shows I collect as well.

That said, there are some shows I only has a very casual interest in. 1 volume of 12 episodes or so will do it for me. If I buy it and end up liking it more than I thought (a la 'Streets of San Francisco), then I will continue buying the volumes. If the shows had been released in a full season at a higher price point, I may not have sampled it at all (at least until it went on sale) and never realized how much I would like it.

If volumes allow some shows to get released that may not have a chance otherwise, I'm all for them to continue this practice. (Can't wait for Cannon!)
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#9 of 34 Ockeghem

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Posted March 28 2008 - 03:14 AM

Some excellent points being made in this thread.

I own only two series that are split into half seasons (The Mod Squad and Perry Mason). I don't like having to do it, but since I want these shows very much, I bite the bullet. Even if I were told not to buy them, I would continue to do so, provided the overall quality of the show was IMO worth it, which for these two shows, I believe that it is.

#10 of 34 FrankT

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Posted March 28 2008 - 03:53 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Talmadge
What is the deal with studios these days? For a very long time, studios were happy enough to release all of our favourite shows as season sets. Now, these self-same studios have begun releasing television shows in volume sets, breaking up one season so that they can profit more from their boxed set releases.

It's bad enough that most of us have rather extensive DVD libraries when it comes to television shows. The last we need is for studios to to break up season sets into volume releases in an attempt to make more profit for the studios.

These studios are risking a lot on this strategy by angering fans of these television shows, because, believe it or not, there are a lot of people who aren't willing to spend an arm and a leg for a complete season. If you waltz into a Best Buy, usually the retail set for a Magnum P.I. season set will run you around $45-50 where it has a MSRP of $60. But, when a studio breaks up a season set, they drop that price by $10 and end up stiffing fans with no bonus feartures, such as commentaries, deleted scenes, behind the scenes and whatnot and just offer a bare bones set, consisting of 12 episodes. It's hard to believe that studios cannot fit 22-26 episodes in a complete season set.

This is the main reason why I have not and will not EVER purchase a television show when the seasons are broken up in half, just because studios want to gouge fans on the price.

I don't know about anyone here, but if the studios continue on their reckless path I'll just stop buying DVD sets outright and resort to downloading them from Rapidshare websites and burning them to blank DVD-r's.

Now, before anyone starts complaining, bear in mind that I have spent over ten grand on DVD boxed sets so it's not like I don't support the industry. I'd rather buy the real deal, but these studios need to understand that fans are tired of being shafted by their DVD releases and not receiving the benefit from 'halved sets.' If you break the sets up to save money or make more profits, then pass those savings onto the consumer. The consumer drives the studios profits, if you anger the consumer, then you anger your profit margin and word of mouth among consumers is the worst thing a company can get.

For me? Everytime I see a consumer about to purchase a volume set, I go out of my way to encourage them not to and explain to them that they are actually paying over-inflated prices for as much as it costs for a full season set and most of the time, they pass on their initial purchase. I consider it my civic duty to discourage the continuing support of these studios and their deceptive practices.

If a season set costs a MSRP of $60, then drop the MSRP by half if the studio releases a half season set, it's only fair to the consumer who supports the studio. With Battlestar Galactica? Season 3 was $60 MSRP. However, do you think that Universal will drop the MSRP for Season 4.0 to $30 for the MSRP? No, they won't. They'll drop it to either $40 or $50.


I am with you. I refuse to buy them at all if they are released as broken up seasons. If the show does not sell well that it is their fault not mine. Maybe the next show they will not release split up.

#11 of 34 AndyMcKinney

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Posted March 28 2008 - 03:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Talmadge
If a season set costs a MSRP of $60, then drop the MSRP by half if the studio releases a half season set, it's only fair to the consumer who supports the studio. With Battlestar Galactica? Season 3 was $60 MSRP. However, do you think that Universal will drop the MSRP for Season 4.0 to $30 for the MSRP? No, they won't. They'll drop it to either $40 or $50.


I work in the printing industry, and the above comment is almost like how some people think that 250 business cards should cost half as much as 500. What people like this don't know is that a big portion of the cost is involved in the "set up", a flat set of costs that would be the same no matter how many of a product are being made/being included (in printing, for example, the costs of layout, design, ink, labor, printing plates, press time, etc.

My example, of course, is not a direct comparison, since it's not quantities of the same product, but the reasoning behind what I say is the same: although a full-season set would take more discs, a large portion of the setup costs would still be there. The physical costs of the additional discs themselves is tiny.

That is one very good reason a smaller set is more than half the cost of a larger set. There's less "episodes/discs" to spread out all those setup costs across. Plus, with all these older shows, buyers expect them to be remastered and cleaned up, and the older the show, the more likely it needs to be cleaned up/remastered. Well, that only adds to the setup costs, and those costs have to be passed along somehow. Rather than going with the outrageously (IMO) high SRPs that the Star Trek sets got, they went with a model that had a more modest price and fewer episodes.

So, we shouldn't see half-season sets as a "rip-off". Rather, we should see larger sets as a bargain.

Quote:
When a studio breaks up a season set, they drop that price by $10 and end up stiffing fans with no bonus feartures, such as commentaries, deleted scenes, behind the scenes and whatnot and just offer a bare bones set, consisting of 12 episodes.

You do realise that deleted scenes and behind-the-scenes material were rarely saved back in the old days, right? Most of this stuff was seen as unusable and thrown out. The first cut of Star Trek's "The Cage" ran long enough to market as a 90-minute movie, but that footage (and pretty much all deleted footage) disappeared while the show was still in production! I was amazed at what still existed for Battlestar Galactica. Appreciate it, yes. Expect it? No.


Quote:
I don't know about anyone here, but if the studios continue on their reckless path I'll just stop buying DVD sets outright and resort to downloading them from Rapidshare websites and burning them to blank DVD-r's.


Go ahead, but don't take the rest of us down with you. If everyone did as you suggested, there'd be very little TV-on-DVD product.

Quote:
Now, before anyone starts complaining, bear in mind that I have spent over ten grand on DVD boxed sets so it's not like I don't support the industry. I'd rather buy the real deal

These half-seasons are more "real" than the illegal downloads and dodgy burnt discs you're suggesting as alternatives...

Quote:
If you anger the consumer, then you anger your profit margin and word of mouth among consumers is the worst thing a company can get.

Everytime I see a consumer about to purchase a volume set, I go out of my way to encourage them not to ... and most of the time, they pass on their initial purchase. I consider it my civic duty...

If you anger any more potential consumers, then you anger the studio's profit margin, and word of mouth ("these DVDs aren't selling") is the worst thing the consumers can get (which is no additional releases).

#12 of 34 AndyMcKinney

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Posted March 28 2008 - 03:59 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankT
I am with you. I refuse to buy them at all if they are released as broken up seasons. If the show does not sell well that it is their fault not mine. Maybe the next show they will not release split up.

No, there won't be a next time. They'll just take it as a lack of demand. And that, I suppose, would be your fault (not buying a show that you supposedly want because it's released in smaller batches). Happy now?

#13 of 34 whisperintherain

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Posted March 28 2008 - 04:08 AM

In what world is the half-season set thing not a rip-off? Less episodes ending up more costly for the customer. This is what I call a rip-off, period. I'll NEVER give in to that half-season set crap. Give me a full season or don't bother releasing the show. I'll live without it just fine.
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#14 of 34 AnthonyC

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Posted March 28 2008 - 05:09 AM

I've never understood the issue with this. Sure, it costs a little more in the long run but it's not like we had no idea how expensive things would get once we all started collecting DVDs. It's a lot easier for the average consumer to drop $35 on a half-season set than splurge for a $50 season set at once. I'd prefer it the other way around but the important thing is that we get the episodes.

Besides, say that episode #12 of a season has a music rights issue (or some other issue). They can release the first 11 episodes now and possibly fix any legal problems for that episode, or they can do the whole shebang now and have to edit any questionable episodes. What would you prefer in that situation? Delaying the release altogether?

#15 of 34 Jason Seaver

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Posted March 28 2008 - 06:06 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by whisperintherain
In what world is the half-season set thing not a rip-off?
In the one where people look at the price on the box and what's inside and ask whether or not that product is worth that price to them, rather than just wishing it was something else.
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#16 of 34 RickER

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Posted March 28 2008 - 06:37 AM

I guess i will just trot out my standard response to this often asked question. I remember a day when i WISHED i could own a film print of Star Trek, because i never got to see it. This was before the VCR of course. But, even when the VCR came out, Star Trek, and many other shows i loved didnt ever show. I never got to watch ANY episodes. Then they put out a handful of episodes on tape and LD...how happy was i to own 10 episodes of Star Trek! Now i can own almost everything i ever wanted. Yes, like you guys i wish some sets were finished, or came out faster. I can think of a few shows i would be happy just to get on R1 DVD. Some of you guys act like it is OWED to you! Enjoy what you have, life is to short.

#17 of 34 Steve_Smith

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Posted March 28 2008 - 06:48 AM

I also agree that doing a split-season on a show I like turns me off, because no matter how much I like seeing TV shows on DVD, price plays a big part in what I buy and what I pass on. Right now, for me, The Untouchables is what I've been waiting for all these past years of TV releases, but is not worth $70.00-$80.00 a season (combined parts). I have taken the choice to wait until a good deal comes around online and then I've ordered them. Now I have paid $42.00 for season 1 complete which is much more reasonable. With DDD having good sales, then I should be able to complete season 2 in the same manner, even if I have to wait for season 2 part 2 to be on sale.

I know a counter-point is that if everyone waited until a sale came around for these split-season sets, then the studios would see no "first week intrest" and maybe not complete said show, but if that did happen...I know my life would still go on Posted Image

#18 of 34 TravisR

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Posted March 28 2008 - 08:00 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Karlosi
We've been through this a thousand times, it seems. I think all of us would prefer whole season sets, but the fact is that this is just not going to always happen for us, and the bottom line should be that at least we're able to own our favorite shows on DVD, whether the seasons are split or whole. That's the main thing. I don't think fans are spiting anyone but themselves when they refuse to buy split seasons, and in the long run it will only discourage future releases and seasons from coming out at all.

What are you accomplishing by this crusade? All that will happen is that the studio will interpret this as there being zero interest in the show in question, and we'll never get anymore releases. Burn your dvd-r's all you like; I'll still buy THE FUGITIVE in volume sets rather than not get it officially released at all. Yes, they are gouging us and it stinks; welcome to the world.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RickER
Some of you guys act like it is OWED to you! Enjoy what you have, life is to short.
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnthonyC
I've never understood the issue with this. Sure, it costs a little more in the long run but it's not like we had no idea how expensive things would get once we all started collecting DVDs. It's a lot easier for the average consumer to drop $35 on a half-season set than splurge for a $50 season set at once. I'd prefer it the other way around but the important thing is that we get the episodes.
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#19 of 34 FrankT

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Posted March 28 2008 - 08:08 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyMcKinney
No, there won't be a next time. They'll just take it as a lack of demand. And that, I suppose, would be your fault (not buying a show that you supposedly want because it's released in smaller batches). Happy now?

You guys crack me up. Have you ever thought that just maybe the studio would go "hmmm trying to rip people off with half seasons didn't work so maybe we should release them as whole seasons" Why does it have to be the other way around with them not releasing anything at all.

Also, I will happily not buy another TV product, EVER, if they are only half seasons. ( I have BSG 1 and 3 but not the 2 half seasons of 2). If they want to make my money they have to earn it.

Done.

#20 of 34 Joe Karlosi

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Posted March 28 2008 - 08:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Talmadge
Yeah, but when the studios are pricing the half season sets at just about the same as they are the full season sets, you have to wonder. The studios are starting to get as ridiculous at their pricing on half season sets as the BBC does with its season sets.

I agree it's ridiculous, but if it's the only way I can get the shows on DVD, I have to pay (and believe me, I am NOT wealthy!).

Quote:
Sure, I would love to pick up on the Fugitive, Love Boat and the Untouchables but I can't justify spending $35-40 on a 12-13 episode (half season) boxed set. The price just doesn't warrant it.

I used to pay $25 for a VHS tape of my favorite films, some of them only 70 - 90 minutes long. I think STAR TREK on VHS (1 episode per cassette) was, like, $10 - $15 per episode, if I remember correctly... so yes, it's all a matter or personal opinion as to what's worth what, but we used to spend a lot more and get a lot less, if you think about it.


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