In the late 80s there was this upstart, boutique video label - they started in VHS but quickly abandoned that dead end - choosing to focus instead on the niche Laserdisc market's thirst for vintage movies - mostly the classics - finally presented uncut in their original aspect ratio with the highest quality PQ and AQ specs the technology of the day could deliver.
This company's CLV line of LDs was no frills whatsoever, and yet priced at least $20 to $25 (or more) than any other major studio release. If that wasn't enough sticker shock, their CAVs went right through the roof, with prices starting substantially over a $100 bucks! For a single movie? Do they think we're daft? And yet committed movie fans and collectors, as well as budding home theatre enthusiasts in fact welcomed this label's commitment to releasing these lost-in-the-vault movie treasures afforded uncommon respect for the source, including thoughtfully written, often scholarly backstory essays. Pricey regardless which LD format you happened to choose, but it was understood that niche product in low runs always equals higher manufacturing and distribution costs per unit, and it's much better to have than have not. These discs cost what they cost so that this company would remain solvent long enough to release more. And since only the largest retailers in the largest cities even carried these premium titles, that evil (and expensive) beast 'mail order' became pretty much the norm.
Nevertheless, this label managed to survive and thrive just fine without the endorsement or patronage of all those mainstream Joes and Janes who didn't think any OLD MOVIE was worth more than a VHS rental, or an extended play recording off TV on the cheapest possible tape. Thankfully, this label never drove themselves nuts trying to either appeal to or appease those folks who would never appreciate the value of what they were doing anyway, much less become loyal customers. So they just followed their own piper with release after release targeted at the small but dedicated body of fans and collectors who were simply grateful this stuff was finally getting out there, respectfully presented, with a dependable level of quality. Even better, this company remained solvent enough to release more...and more...and more. Today, they are among the few blue chip standards for home video production.
Of course, we didn't have the WWW back then, but if it had been as ubiquitous as it is now, I often wonder what the rote party line would have been concerning the business model of...uhm...what was that company's masthead again...oh yeah, The Criterion Collection.
Edited by ROclockCK, June 10 2013 - 09:03 PM.