Article on TV-on-DVD: Sales stats, sales drop-off of older shows, repackaging, etc.

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by MattHR, Mar 24, 2006.

  1. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    There is a an article posted on videobusiness.com today that talks about the declining sales figures for many older shows' DVD sets, and what some studios are doing to maintain their future viability.

    The link: http://www.videobusiness.com/article/CA6318842.html

    A couple quotes:

     
  2. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Well, shit.
     
  3. MarkHarrison

    MarkHarrison Supporting Actor

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    I think it's sort of a catch-22 situation. If the market wasn't so flooded with so many titles, I think people would be more willing to follow a show through till the end. But they would complain about all the shows not out. When you release so many shows, you make people happy since they can get what they want, but then there isn't enough time & money to get every release you desire. So people are more picky on what they'll pick up leading to sales dropping off after season 1.

    Personally, I pick my shows carefully and go in with the intention of eventually picking up every season available. So I don't have a huge variety in shows, but I do have all seasons when available.
     
  4. todd s

    todd s Lead Actor

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    As much as studios don't want to hear this. They have to keep season set prices for old shows at $14.99-$19.99.
     
  5. ScottR

    ScottR Cinematographer

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    For me, the problem is that Season One is usually done well, and then there are reports of edits, poor quality mastering, etc. on subsequent sets, so I don't spend any more money on that series.
     
  6. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    ScottR is onto something; often it is not the show, but the poor way it is handled as a DVD release.
     
  7. Phyll

    Phyll Stunt Coordinator

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    I do not believe this article for one minute!! Everytime I go to purchase an older show on dvd they are usually snapped up. I have heard that it is actually a money maker for the studios to release older shows. I think where the studios are losing money is in repackaging shows (such as x-files and sex and the city, and friends). And also they probably lose some money in the distribution costs. Would it be cheaper for studios to have their own web sites where they sell the dvds? I also don't think some shows are promoted very well. I think people also do not want to buy say the first season of a dvd if they don't think any more are following-such as NightCourt. And with the case of Nightcourt it was not the strongest season. What Warner Brothers should have done is package the first two seasons of the show and then season three would start with the Markie Post years. What stinks is that alot of decent shows will never see the light of day-like Get Smart, etc because of some little 20-something sitting in an office looking at numbers and not the big picture. Shows like Get Smart and other shows need a place to be seen. And these shows you can watch with your family and not be embarrassed. I wish there was a cable station for good shows that haven't been seen in a while. What I don't understand about the dvd market right now is that stupid people seem to be buying shows on dvd that you can watch on cable for nothing. I limit my collection to shows not on cable. I mean the studios just use syndication cuts anyway so why not watch on cable instead. I don't believe the music is changed either. People sure are just like sheep. Only sheep are smarter!! And with Universal, I think people are weary of buying dvds and paying top dollar and getting dvds that skip and freeze. I mean Universal titles are the most expensive. If they want to cut corners they should sell the dvds cheaper. There has to be a better solution so that some good old shows are not left in the dark. Well, no matter-in thirty years the youngsters of today will be going through the same problems-only their shows won't be any good or worth whining about.
     
  8. seanOhara

    seanOhara Supporting Actor

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    So they should charge as much for a 10+ hour TV show as for a 2 hour movie? I think $25-40 is more reasonable, depending upon the number of episodes.
     
  9. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Yep, there is NOTHING good at all on TV today. All television stopped being good in 1970. [​IMG]
     
  10. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    You know what the REAL Golden Age of Television is?

    Eight.
     
  11. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    How many TV shows were really great until the very end of their run? There are reasons they were cancelled in the first place (some good, some warranted).

    The number of titles on the market is obviously a factor. Who can afford the time and money to buy everything they could possibly want, and watch it all in time to be able to return defective sets?

    The quality of releases is also a factor, and I agree that syndicated cuts, music replacement etc. is going to have an impact. Cost of purchase is also very important, especially on marginal titles.
     
  12. Michael Alden

    Michael Alden Supporting Actor

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    Now, that's true. Oh, same goes for music as well.
     
  13. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    Everyone is entitled to an opinion. Just like I'm entitled to the opinion that some people on this board are miserable, bitter, old men who can only look back on the past.
     
  14. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    I hope that the article isn't true about the TV/DVD market topping out. There's a lot of titles that I'd buy if they get released. As for the theory of buying TV/DVD's if they're available on cable/satt, that issue, IMO, is not considered with the "collector" crowd, which I'm a member. If I want a series, I'll get it on DVD regardless if it's currently being offered on cable/satt. Granted, if a series has been out of circulation for a long time, the DVD release becomes more attractive to me, such as "Voyage To the Bottom of the Sea", etc.

    Gord, Dave, what do you guys think about the "TV/DVD market peaking" theory?
     
  15. RoryR

    RoryR Stunt Coordinator

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    Half of the time the Studio's bring this themselves, Anchor Bay's Three's Company Season 5 release featured very few extra's (a hugh loss compared to previous releases) - how did they expect that to sell aswell? Sure, Season 6 is cheaper but with lack of extra's comes lack of interest (sure, some will buy it just because its cheaper, or some will buy it because they are solid fans) but when there is nothing much you can't see on TV everyday it looses its appeal - especially when you think of the masses of TV shows on DVD now.


    June 6th - two of my favourite shows are being released, Charmed and Home Improvement - Home Improvement has 1 (albeit a terrible number) of Special Features unseen Bloopers, Charmed has nothing - which would you buy (if you like the shows the same amount)?

    We, the consumer, are getting screwed because TV Studio's rarely understand us - extra's make the set worth buying, good extra's will edge the show infront of the 10 other DVD's released that Tuesday. Paramount must be seeing lower numbers - it certainly looses any blind-buy appeal because you can see pretty much what you get on TV everday, only solid fans will be interested in the set. A release with very good special features can also give people who don't care so much about the show more than they can see on TV - and that could persuade them to buy it.
    And when a set fails because they did not put enough extra's - sales fall, and they stop releasing them - then who looses out? We do - the studio obviously didn't earn enough to keep going, so they are breaking-even? but we loose out.

    Some studios loose money because they do not invest enough in shows, I think 2 releases must be made before they discontinue a set - take Just Shoot Me (and many other Sony shows) it is doing well in Syndication (can't be a factor considering Friends and Raymond appeal) yet the DVD's didn't warrant a second release, they had special features (good ones) but sales were too short - why? I am guessing because people won't commit to a series unless it is clear that it will be continued - 2 years later and nothing, Just Shoot Me is now on sale is an attempt to warrant later releases - don't see it happening.

    I may be alone in this, I usually prefer the later seasons of a show - not the first season for sure, so I am more likely to buy a later season - if it is clear the later season extra's are bad then I won't bother buying any. The problem that many studio's loose extra quality is true to many: Boy Meets World Season 1 & 2 had 6? commentaries each which is a respectable amount of extra's, especially for Disney!, but Season 3 had nothing but a silly quiz. Anchor Bay seem to be doing this with Three's Company, Roseanne, 3rd Rock.

    The studios rarely put out contious solid releases - the best company, FOX - they do everything right on The Simpsons/Family Guy... why can no other studio just follow what they do? While in the area of tooting companies horns, Buena Vista released a solid set of Scrubs DVD's - why can they not do this with semi-classics The Golden Girls and Home Improvement - I don't believe for on minute that because they are not in production anymore, and Scrubs is, that is so hard to get the cast to film somethings - or the producers to do commentaries.
    No wonder old shows are not selling well, Cheers is not going to with no special features - pretty much what airs on cable daily is it?

    Living in the UK - we don't have a raging TVonDVD market, few shows make it here - but of those that have : Frasier, Cheers, The Golden Girls are a few examples and all have stopped selling here (Frasier & Cheers as of Season 4, GG as of Season 3) - why? Lack of Special Features, in the UK these shows air daily uncut - why bother buying the DVD? Scrubs however is selling very while, despite the fact it airs on 4 stations in England alone!
     
  16. Scott Kimball

    Scott Kimball Screenwriter

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    That's one opinion. There are many, however (including me) who would much rather see clean, complete, uncut season sets at a bargain price. If the extras push the price up by $3 - $4, I'd rather they didn't put them on there. The exception would be real, true classics with historical value, or shows with a strong cult following.

    Aside from TV DVDs I've written reviews for, I've rarely had any interest in watching the extras.

    I have more interest in extras for films, but I only bother watching them on more significant titles.

    Give me the best quality at the best price. Extras are gravy, and are not necessarily warranted for every single release.

    ... but I'm sure many will disagree... [​IMG]

    -Scott
     
  17. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    I buy shows based on re-watchability and nothing else. Of course i expect them to be uncut, and i want the best possible picture. Price doesn't factor in for me if i FEEL i get my moneys worth. I will buy Dr. Who July 4th for $100 retail because i like the show and want to see it uncut, with no pop ups or commercials every 8 minutes. I bought the X Files first 5 seasons for $99 on release week 5 years ago, but couldn't bring myself to get more than the first 2 seasons of Trek: TNG before stopping. I love both shows, but X Files had more re-watch power for me. Of course everyone has that 1 show they love, and some others may feel why the hell would anyone want to own that?
    I think Jeff Willis and i want the same show however...bring me The Six Million Dollar Man!
     
  18. Jeff Willis

    Jeff Willis Producer

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    That's it exactly for me, Scott. You're not alone here. Extras are nice, but I rarely check them out in my collection. I can't remember when I pressed the 'play' feature on any Extra on a TV/DVD set. I'm happy when they are provided for the ones here that want them, but if a given set is uncut, good transfer quality, that's my main concern. Price is an issue but I'd guess we all differ slightly on the price question. It depends on if a series is one of our "Holy Grails" that we must have. RickER says it for me.
     
  19. MattHR

    MattHR Screenwriter

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    You are kidding, right? You actually expect the studios to release six-disc sets for the same retail price as a single music CD or movie? If so, I hope you're happy with over-compressed/syndication edited/music replaced/less-than-VHS quality releases.
     
  20. Eve Brown

    Eve Brown Stunt Coordinator

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    The number one thing important when i buy shows is uncut shows prefer no music changes but chances are i could not tell you the music anyway. I do extras more on my tv dvds then my movies especially the commentaires.
     

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