I'm not saying that the sky is falling, but this does appear to be a big push by Amazon towards getting people to change their habits. 4 Stars

I was just browsing Blu-rays on Amazon, and I noticed something I hadn’t previously seen before.

On the right hand side of the product listing page, where it lists the price and has the “add to cart” buttons, I saw a new blurb that I had never noticed before. For example, on the Murder On The Orient Express Blu-ray page, it says that you can buy that disc for $19.96. But beneath that, it now says “Save an extra $4.97 (25%) by purchasing on Amazon Video instead” and includes a link for the digital version as well.

I’m not saying that the sky is falling, but this does appear to be a big push by Amazon towards getting people to change their habits.

The algorithm doesn’t appear to be understand the nuances of video formats – for example, the 3D listing for Justice League points to the 2D streaming version (not the same thing), and the UHD listing for Get Out points to the 1080p streaming version (also not the same thing). But will the average customer notice or care or will they just see the savings? And, in the case of Murder On The Orient Express, the digital listing also includes a rental option that is substantially cheaper than purchasing either the digital or disc versions.

Their margins must be that much higher on digital versions if Amazon is taking the chance of losing a $20 disc sale in order to get a $15 digital sale or $6 digital rental.

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Todd Erwin

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Take a look at Coco, as I mentioned on this week's Weekly Roundup post.

Amazon currently has the Blu-ray at full retail ($39.99) and out of stock, with this statement:

FREE Shipping for Prime members

Usually ships within 1 to 4 weeks.

Why wait? Buy the Amazon Video version instead and start streaming now.

Ships from and sold by Amazon.com exclusively for Prime members. Gift-wrap available.
The streaming version is $19.99.

The 4K UHD is also out of stock:
Temporarily out of stock.

Why wait? Buy the Amazon Video version instead and start streaming now.

Order now and we'll deliver when available. We'll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information. Your account will only be charged when we ship the item.

Ships from and sold by Amazon.com exclusively for Prime members. Gift-wrap available.
Amazon Video does not offer this title in 4K UHD.
 

Carabimero

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Yes, I noticed it. I was trying to buy a disc of Les Miserables (1935) and found it damn near impossible because of the insistent streaming offer. I typed "Les Miserables 1935 DVD" and this is what I got, despite the fact the DVD exists for sale.

https://smile.amazon.com/Miserables...519773249&sr=8-2&keywords=les+miserables+1935

Irritating at this point. I can easily foresee a future where discs are either very expensive or not available at all. I'm not sure the sky is falling yet, but I may buy (or make) backup copies of my top twenty movies and top ten TV shows.
 

Jake Lipson

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Todd, your point is, of course, valid and correct. But Coco is, as we know, affected by this ridiculous dispute between Amazon and Disney, which a) explains why it's showing at such a high price and is out of stock and b) has never applied to Amazon digital purchases. That particular case seems to be more related to the feud than any desire by Amazon to push people toward digital. I would think that, since this feud has been ongoing for over a year now, more people have gotten used to not being able to purchase new Disney titles on Amazon and simply look elsewhere. I know those of us on here have. Whether the general public is aware of the feud or not (I'm guessing not), I would think most smart people would by now have at least noticed a pattern that major Disney titles are not available for pre-order and are not generally in-stock on the release date.

Murder on the Orient Express, on the other hand, is not a Disney-owned title (yet), so Amazon pushing people toward the digital version is indeed eyebrow-raising. Thanks for pointing it out, Josh; I hadn't noticed it yet either. Just to be clear, I'm liking your post for your having reported this information to us, not because I like the idea of Amazon dissuading people from buying discs.

The thing, of course, is that a digital purchase does not give you a physical thing to have. I buy Blu-rays from Amazon because I want to physically have the product, so a cheaper digital alternative would not sway me. I use digital services like Amazon Video and Vudu for rentals and things I can stream free on Prime. I use Vudu for digital copies as a supplement to my disc collection, but I would never use it as a replacement for a film I like enough to own. The question is how many customers will be okay accepting the digital stream without physically owning anything.
 
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DavidJ

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I was just browsing Blu-rays on Amazon, and I noticed something I hadn't previously seen before.

On the right hand side of the product listing page, where it lists the price and has the "add to cart" buttons, I saw a new blurb that I had never noticed before. For example, on the Murder On The Orient Express Blu-ray page, it says that you can buy that disc for $19.96. But beneath that, it now says "Save an extra $4.97 (25%) by purchasing on Amazon Video instead" and includes a link for the digital version as well.

I'm not saying that the sky is falling, but this does appear to be a big push by Amazon towards getting people to change their habits.

The algorithm doesn't appear to be understand the nuances of video formats - for example, the 3D listing for Justice League points to the 2D streaming version (not the same thing), and the UHD listing for Get Out points to the 1080p streaming version (also not the same thing). But will the average customer notice or care or will they just see the savings? And, in the case of Murder On The Orient Express, the digital listing also includes a rental option that is substantially cheaper than purchasing either the digital or disc versions.

Their margins must be that much higher on digital versions if Amazon is taking the chance of losing a $20 disc sale in order to get a $15 digital sale or $6 digital rental.
Hmmm. I hadn’t noticed this yet. My wife would probably be all for me going digital. She kind of hates that we have so many discs and are running/have run? out of room for them. I stubbornly refuse to stop buying them.
 

BobO'Link

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I saw this earlier this evening when checking if I'd purchased the Pink Panther Collection from them (I didn't). On the BR page was the blurb:

Save an extra $48.90 (78%) by purchasing on Amazon Video instead.

I thought "Wow! That's some reduction - can't be the same thing!" and it isn't. The offering at 78% off is The Pink Panther film by itself. I just shook my head at the stupidity of that listing. I've seen the "Why wait when you can buy the digital now" blurbs and just ignore them. I'm not interested in "ownership" of a digital copy unless it also comes with a physical copy.
 

BobO'Link

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Yes, I noticed it. I was trying to buy a disc of Les Miserables (1935) and found it damn near impossible because of the insistent streaming offer. I typed "Les Miserables 1935 DVD" and this is what I got, despite the fact the DVD exists for sale.

https://smile.amazon.com/Miserables...519773249&sr=8-2&keywords=les+miserables+1935

Irritating at this point. I can easily foresee a future where discs are either very expensive or not available at all. I'm not sure the sky is falling yet, but I may buy (or make) backup copies of my top twenty movies and top ten TV shows.
I don't know what you did differently - I searched on Les Miserables (1935) and got listings with the DVD as well as streaming. If I added "DVD" to the end, I got the DVD releases with *no* streaming version offered. I tried your link and did the same searches with the same results. So that's very odd...

Have you purchased some digital copies recently? Maybe they're taking that as implication you want them going forward and tailoring the search accordingly. If so, I find that rather bone headed, but Amazon's not known for logic in the way they do things.
 
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Neil Middlemiss

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IMO, Amazon Video is the worse streaming service among the top three with Vudu and iTunes. I never watch anything on Amazon Video any longer.
I’d be inclined to agree with you, but I had a mini Peter Hyams marathon on Sunday and watched Running Scared for the first time via Prime Streaming and was impressed with how it looked!
 

Carabimero

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I don't know what you did differently - I searched on Les Miserables (1935) and got listings with the DVD as well as streaming. If I added "DVD" to the end, I got the DVD releases with *no* streaming version offered. I tried your link and did the same searches with the same results. So that's very odd...

Have you purchased some digital copies recently? Maybe they're taking that as implication you want them going forward and tailoring the search accordingly. If so, I find that rather bone headed, but Amazon's not known for logic in the way the do things.
I have never purchased anything digitally and God knows I hope I never do. Not only is the quality crap, IMHO, the illusion that I "own" it is just that--an illusion.
 

Robert Crawford

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I have never purchased anything digitally and God knows I hope I never do. Not only is the quality crap, IMHO, the illusion that I "own" it is just that--an illusion.
That's not true from my POV of watching digital feeds. Several years ago, I would have agreed with you, but, not in 2018.
 

Carabimero

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That's not true from my POV of watching digital feeds. Several years ago, I would have agreed with you, but, not in 2018.
It's easy for someone who has a big fat Internet connection to think everybody has a big fat Internet connection, but it simply isn't true. In fact, it's very far from true. Still, I will put my BDs up against any streamed content. The sound and picture quality is not even close, even with a big fat Internet connection.
 

Robert Crawford

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It's easy for someone who has a big fat Internet connection to think everybody has a big fat Internet connection, but it simply isn't true. In fact, it's very far from true. Still, I will put my BDs up against any streamed content. The sound and picture quality is not even close, even with a big fat Internet connection.
It's also easy for someone to say digital streams look like "crap" because they have a poor internet connection. Furthermore, read my post again as I clearly stated from my "POV" which means I'm talking from my perspective and not yours.

That's not true from my POV of watching digital feeds.
 
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Carabimero

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It's also easy for someone to say digital streams look like "crap" because they have a poor internet connection. Furthermore, read my post again as I clearly stated from my "POV" which means I'm talking from my perspective and not yours.
Read my post again and you will see I didn't say "you," I said "someone."
 

Carabimero

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You should take it that what I said was sparked by your comment while not narrowly applying to you. You may have inferred I was talking about about you, but I specifically used the word "someone" to not imply it.
 

Robert Crawford

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You should take it that what I said was sparked by your comment while not narrowly applying to you. You may have inferred I was talking about about you, but I specifically used the word "someone" to not imply it.
Yeah, but, you quoted me. Anyhow, I'm moving on.
 

Robert Crawford

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I’d be inclined to agree with you, but I had a mini Peter Hyams marathon on Sunday and watched Running Scared for the first time via Prime Streaming and was impressed with how it looked!
Well, I need to amend my comment about not watching anything on Amazon. I do watch "Sahara" the Bogart film on Amazon as it's a HD stream versus SD on Vudu and iTunes. I'm sure there are some other examples too. However, generally I find Amazon is third in streaming quality in comparison to the other two.