DVD Bargains and Rip-offs or Will There Ever Be Standard Pricing?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Amy Mormino, Jun 21, 2004.

  1. Amy Mormino

    Amy Mormino Supporting Actor

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    As an avid fan of TV on DVD, I've been consistently surprised over the past few years by how low prices have gotten and how high they can still go. Initially, most TV on DVD was very expensive with one season going for about $75-100 for an hour show (The X-Files, Star Trek shows, the Avengers series).

    But then prices started going down. You can get the Buffy and Simpsons sets for about $35, for example. However, pricing continues to fluctuate wildly when compared to movie prices. Take these examples:
    -The first season of Diff'rent Strokes was just announced for $30 (which means you can likely get it around $20 if you look around). Say what you will about the quality of the show, but that's a really good deal for a whole season.
    -But today I read at DVD File that 7th Heaven's first season will go for $90! Even with careful searching you won't find that for less than $60. I feel sorry for any fans of that show (I'm not one), especially as it goes for a lot more than most of the other family shows out there.

    So, do you think DVD TV prices will continue to go down or that these fluctuations will continue? And what are some of the best bargains and worst rip-offs out there?
     
  2. Amy Mormino

    Amy Mormino Supporting Actor

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    As an avid fan of TV on DVD, I've been consistently surprised over the past few years by how low prices have gotten and how high they can still go. Initially, most TV on DVD was very expensive with one season going for about $75-100 for an hour show (The X-Files, Star Trek shows, the Avengers series).

    But then prices started going down. You can get the Buffy and Simpsons sets for about $35, for example. However, pricing continues to fluctuate wildly when compared to movie prices. Take these examples:
    -The first season of Diff'rent Strokes was just announced for $30 (which means you can likely get it around $20 if you look around). Say what you will about the quality of the show, but that's a really good deal for a whole season.
    -But today I read at DVD File that 7th Heaven's first season will go for $90! Even with careful searching you won't find that for less than $60. I feel sorry for any fans of that show (I'm not one), especially as it goes for a lot more than most of the other family shows out there.

    So, do you think DVD TV prices will continue to go down or that these fluctuations will continue? And what are some of the best bargains and worst rip-offs out there?
     
  3. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    DeepDiscountDVD.com has it for $49...how much "careful searching" did you do? Not to mention you can just go to DVDPriceSearch.com and type in the title, DVD Planet has it for $42.

    I'm sure someone will come in and break it down for you as to why some shows cost more than others. It's been discussed here before.
     
  4. Kyle McKnight

    Kyle McKnight Cinematographer

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    DeepDiscountDVD.com has it for $49...how much "careful searching" did you do? Not to mention you can just go to DVDPriceSearch.com and type in the title, DVD Planet has it for $42.

    I'm sure someone will come in and break it down for you as to why some shows cost more than others. It's been discussed here before.
     
  5. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    I bought 7 seasons of Star Trek: TNG and 7 seasons of DS9 for $100 each. Based on the quality of the shows, and the enjoyment I have derived by watchin them, I consider that a tremendous bargain.

    I seem to remember paying quite a bit for THE PRISONER as well, but again, it was money well spent.
     
  6. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    I bought 7 seasons of Star Trek: TNG and 7 seasons of DS9 for $100 each. Based on the quality of the shows, and the enjoyment I have derived by watchin them, I consider that a tremendous bargain.

    I seem to remember paying quite a bit for THE PRISONER as well, but again, it was money well spent.
     
  7. Amy Mormino

    Amy Mormino Supporting Actor

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    I should have remembered with the 7th Heaven listing that DVD File can be unreliable on these matters. It seems the real price is $60, not $90, which is much more reasonable.
     
  8. Amy Mormino

    Amy Mormino Supporting Actor

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    I should have remembered with the 7th Heaven listing that DVD File can be unreliable on these matters. It seems the real price is $60, not $90, which is much more reasonable.
     
  9. Scott_J

    Scott_J Cinematographer

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    Actually Amy, Paramount did not set a MSRP for the 7th Heaven set (which is typical of their TV-on-DVD sets). So technically, the site(s) listing $60 is/are correct, as is/are the site(s) listing $90. Technically, any "MSRP" a retailer puts on the release is "correct," although IMO the $60 price point is much more realistic and accurate.
     
  10. Scott_J

    Scott_J Cinematographer

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    Actually Amy, Paramount did not set a MSRP for the 7th Heaven set (which is typical of their TV-on-DVD sets). So technically, the site(s) listing $60 is/are correct, as is/are the site(s) listing $90. Technically, any "MSRP" a retailer puts on the release is "correct," although IMO the $60 price point is much more realistic and accurate.
     
  11. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    I'll be one to go first on this issue.
    I think that you will still see the price fluxuations. I say this because especially with older shows where music rights have to be renegotiated, the studios might have to set a different price point just to make the release profitable.
    There are other factors, like how much restoration might be required on a particular show, the number of episodes/discs in each set...and probably a few more factors that are slipping my mind right now. I really don't see standardizing in price for TV on DVD anytime soon.
     
  12. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    I'll be one to go first on this issue.
    I think that you will still see the price fluxuations. I say this because especially with older shows where music rights have to be renegotiated, the studios might have to set a different price point just to make the release profitable.
    There are other factors, like how much restoration might be required on a particular show, the number of episodes/discs in each set...and probably a few more factors that are slipping my mind right now. I really don't see standardizing in price for TV on DVD anytime soon.
     
  13. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    I talked a bit here about how there really is no SRP on 7th Heaven, that both DVDPlanet and DVDEmpire are "making up list prices", essentially, and to just find and go with the best price you find.
     
  14. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    I talked a bit here about how there really is no SRP on 7th Heaven, that both DVDPlanet and DVDEmpire are "making up list prices", essentially, and to just find and go with the best price you find.
     
  15. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Other things to take into consideration on pricing:

    Any extras? Most people are used to getting DVDs with extras, so do you keep the price low and go "bare bones", or do you spend the money on research, production, commentaries, etc. to put "value-added" material on there? I'm sure "Battlestar Galactica" could've been cheaper had they gone bare bones, but I appreciate that they scoured the vaults and put a good deal (though not all) of the unused footage on there.

    Do they own the property or have to pay a licence fee?

    Running times? A full season of a sitcom is going to be only about half as long as a full season of a drama (typically), so less discs (and fewer episodes to licence if the releasing studio doesn't own them).

    Does anyone else besides the studio (such as Jerry Seinfeld in the case of "Seinfeld") get a cut of the profits?

    Are the show's fans teenagers or adults? Not all teens have jobs, or parents who are willing to fork out large amounts of money for "teen" shows they don't particularly care about. The grown-ups might fork over if it's cheap, or be willing to pay a little more for a show they themselves would enjoy.

    Another very important point: how well do they expect the set to sell? Paramount expects that "Star Trek" will sell reasonably well whatever price they put on it, plus they know the hard-core fans will pay just about whatever price they set, so bingo, $100 per season. Now, take a show like "Soap." It, too, is an older show, but doesn't have the huge fan base that "Trek" has. It sells for around $20.
     
  16. AndyMcKinney

    AndyMcKinney Cinematographer

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    Other things to take into consideration on pricing:

    Any extras? Most people are used to getting DVDs with extras, so do you keep the price low and go "bare bones", or do you spend the money on research, production, commentaries, etc. to put "value-added" material on there? I'm sure "Battlestar Galactica" could've been cheaper had they gone bare bones, but I appreciate that they scoured the vaults and put a good deal (though not all) of the unused footage on there.

    Do they own the property or have to pay a licence fee?

    Running times? A full season of a sitcom is going to be only about half as long as a full season of a drama (typically), so less discs (and fewer episodes to licence if the releasing studio doesn't own them).

    Does anyone else besides the studio (such as Jerry Seinfeld in the case of "Seinfeld") get a cut of the profits?

    Are the show's fans teenagers or adults? Not all teens have jobs, or parents who are willing to fork out large amounts of money for "teen" shows they don't particularly care about. The grown-ups might fork over if it's cheap, or be willing to pay a little more for a show they themselves would enjoy.

    Another very important point: how well do they expect the set to sell? Paramount expects that "Star Trek" will sell reasonably well whatever price they put on it, plus they know the hard-core fans will pay just about whatever price they set, so bingo, $100 per season. Now, take a show like "Soap." It, too, is an older show, but doesn't have the huge fan base that "Trek" has. It sells for around $20.
     
  17. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Funny how all the retailers seem to "make up" roughly the same list price, however. It's a little like gas prices in that the actual cost of making and distributing the product has less bearing on price than what the next guy down the street is charging. [​IMG]

    I think one of the biggest criteria is how "intense" the fanbase is for a particular show. Paramount with "Star Trek" and Fox with "The X-Files" knew that each had a particularly rabid fanbase that would pay premium prices to have their show on DVD, so the prices were set accordingly.
     
  18. Malcolm R

    Malcolm R Executive Producer

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    Funny how all the retailers seem to "make up" roughly the same list price, however. It's a little like gas prices in that the actual cost of making and distributing the product has less bearing on price than what the next guy down the street is charging. [​IMG]

    I think one of the biggest criteria is how "intense" the fanbase is for a particular show. Paramount with "Star Trek" and Fox with "The X-Files" knew that each had a particularly rabid fanbase that would pay premium prices to have their show on DVD, so the prices were set accordingly.
     
  19. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    It's like this:

    "Paramount isn't naming an SRP, so I can't tell my customers how much they're saving with my discounted price. I *REALLY* want my customers to know how much they're saving by buying from me."

    "Well, Paramount's selling it to me for about $35 wholesale. Hmmm, here's a few items from other studios that also wholesale for about that price range."

    "Okay, well the list price for those other items was named by their studios to be $xx.xx, so I'll tell my customers that the list price for this Paramount set is the same".


    So they all get into the same ballpark, but there can be some hefty differences at times ($30 right now for 7th Heaven!).
     
  20. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    It's like this:

    "Paramount isn't naming an SRP, so I can't tell my customers how much they're saving with my discounted price. I *REALLY* want my customers to know how much they're saving by buying from me."

    "Well, Paramount's selling it to me for about $35 wholesale. Hmmm, here's a few items from other studios that also wholesale for about that price range."

    "Okay, well the list price for those other items was named by their studios to be $xx.xx, so I'll tell my customers that the list price for this Paramount set is the same".


    So they all get into the same ballpark, but there can be some hefty differences at times ($30 right now for 7th Heaven!).
     

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