I agree with others that streaming sucks and physical media is the way to go and DVD/Blu Ray formats should be supported by as many as possible to ensure that they will be around for a long time. I am a little confused by this whole streaming/downloading issue- can someone clarify for me exactly what this entails?! Are we talking about going to a studio's website and searching for a show and watching it (either free of charge or for a fee) or are you referring to buying an episode or entire season of a show online and then downloading it to your computer's hard drive?! I am not a fan of either but if this model involves paying to watch an episode or full season then I would expect that in return I would have the ability to download and save a copy of the episode or episodes. I don't understand the appeal of going online and paying to watch an episode and not being able to download a copy of it?! The whole point of having a collection of TV shows is the joy of owning these series and watching them whenever you feel like it.
TV on DVD does appear to be on the decline but remember that a lot of series have been released on DVD over the years- I would say that there are more shows that have been released (and completed) then those that have not been released or are incomplete. I don't think physical media releases will die out completely, in the future most DVD releases will probably come from the independents (Shout! Factory, MPI, Timeless Media, Image Entertainment, etc.). The major studios, on the other hand, will probably move to this streaming business that Gary alluded to and will move away from physical media releases. This trend has already begun, here is the current state of affairs regarding classic TV releases from the big boys:
Still releasing some classic series but not very many
- No releases of classic series, have opted instead to sub-license out shows to independent companies
- No releases of classic series (S5&6 of The Bob Newhart Show could potentially be the final DVD releases of a Classic series- if they are in fact released?!)
- Still releasing a few classic series, many shows have been sub-licensed out to independent companies
- Classic TV releases are few and far between, have now shifted to MOD releases for classic series via Warner Archive
I think the MOD program that Warner is working is fantastic... to a point. It's great if it's your show they are putting out. Up till now they've done little more than scratch the surface with things I'm interested in. And on top of that, we don't seem to get any sold discounts with this model, so that's another reason I'm not keen on it like some others are.
While I prefer pressed discs to these MOD releases, I think an MOD release is better than no release at all. Having said that I am not impressed by Warner Archive thus far for two reasons:
1- The lack of releases
, I would have expected them to open the vaults and start making more content available then they actually have. So far they have only released a pathetically small amount of older TV series. Are they still getting accustom to this new model of selling their content or is the lack of releases due to other factors such as restoration or music clearances for the shows they are looking at releasing?! I wonder what kind of sales they have had for the classic series they have released thus far- I know the Hanna-Barbera stuff has sold quite well but have the TV shows sold well?!
2- The pricing
- For direct-to-consumer releases and considering that they own all of these TV series and films that they are putting out, the pricing is just too high IMO. The costs for MOD releases I would think are quite low compared to pressed DVD's that are sold in retail stores so as far as I am concerned greed is the main reason for the high prices. Unfortunately I think the high price points are going to be a turn off for many potential customers, especially more casual fans. They need to seriously rethink their strategy for this MOD stuff and lower the prices a bit. It appears as thought they are trying to maintain the same profit level as they have for retail releases but with these MOD releases there is no middle man, they are selling directly to the consumer and thus collecting all the profits.