titch

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It is just amazing to see this industry continuously evolve.

I find myself evolving with it.

I am buying more digital copies over discs. It's just cheaper. The only discs I buy these days are first-run movies with Atmos.

The writing has been on the wall for a long time and I think this partnership -- while smart indeed -- just signals that the studios are just as concerned about the future of disc media as we have been.
Well - you are going to have to make a new logo for your forum. Discs and film will shortly vanish - at least for your members, who aren't rabid collectors.
 

Ronald Epstein

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Well - you are going to have to make a new logo for your forum. Discs and film will shortly vanish - at least for your members, who aren't rabid collectors.

I think we have been seeing our ultimate demise for some time now.

Websites like ours will cease to exist in the upcoming years, that is unless discussing the quality of streamed titles becomes a hot topic.
 

Worth

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I think we have been seeing our ultimate demise for some time now.

Websites like ours will cease to exist in the upcoming years, that is unless discussing the quality of streamed titles becomes a hot topic.
I don't see why it would be any different. At this point, it's all digital data anyway, whether it's on a disc or out there in the ether. There are still things to say about the quality of transfers and sound mixes, and of course, the films themselves.
 

Josh Steinberg

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If they were smart, they'd start promoting awareness of the advantages of discs over digital. I bought a Blu-Ray in Mexico that actually has an insert about that, will have to post it here.
Jesse, I love you man, but your average consumer, the group of people that make the vast majority of purchases and drive the industry, aren’t confused about the differences between disc and digital. It’s not that they’ve been seduced by evil digital and only need to be reminded of discs. It’s that digital does a better job of meeting their needs.

Most people want to watch a thing once. They don’t want to own it. They don’t want the clutter that comes with a physical object. Most people are satisfied with the current options which allow you to subscribe to services for unlimited viewing of large number of titles for about $10 a month, and supplement that with a la carte rentals from digital storefronts.

Discs will never again be the preferred viewing method for the vast majority of the public. They care far more about access than ownership. Ownership was only appealing to that group when it was the only means of access.

Long term, this isn’t bad news if you care about access. I have the ability to see more titles now, far easier and far cheaper, than I’ve ever had at any point in my life. Discs will probably continue as a niche format for some time, but even that is a good thing - its better for a small number of boutique labels to make high quality releases that sell reliably to a small but dedicated audience than it is for major labels to put out lackluster releases that don’t appeal to a wide audience because that audience is over physical media, and that also don’t appeal to the collector audience because they’re not done well.

But none of this news is surprising. A lot of old ways for delivering content simply don’t make sense for most people in today’s world. I used this next example in another thread recently. My wife and I decided we wanted to revisit the sitcom Frasier. I looked up the complete series on disc and saw it priced at $90, which I thought was very reasonably for eleven seasons of a show. Then I realized that Frasier was already on multiple streaming services that I already have subscriptions to. So we didn’t buy the disc. There was no point to spending $90 to wait for something to come in the mail when all I had to do was press a button on my remote to watch it for free right at that very moment. And that is what many people have already figured out.

Rather than trying to return disc to being a mass market consumer preference, which will never happen, the best way forward for the remaining disc producers is to target smaller sales goals and direct marketing towards consumers who are still interested in the product.

But again, I personally can’t see this as being all bad when I can press a button on my remote and watch nearly any movie that’s in print. I don’t want to go back to the days of having to go to a specialty store to find something outside of the top hundred titles and then have something special ordered and delivered a month later. In the 1980s, it was a week or months long project if someone said “You should see...”. Now, it’s a button push. On the whole, this is a tremendous benefit.
 

Thomas T

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Jesse, I love you man, but your average consumer, the group of people that make the vast majority of purchases and drive the industry, aren’t confused about the differences between disc and digital. It’s not that they’ve been seduced by evil digital and only need to be reminded of discs. It’s that digital does a better job of meeting their needs.

Most people want to watch a thing once. They don’t want to own it. They don’t want the clutter that comes with a physical object. Most people are satisfied with the current options which allow you to subscribe to services for unlimited viewing of large number of titles for about $10 a month, and supplement that with a la carte rentals from digital storefronts.

Discs will never again be the preferred viewing method for the vast majority of the public. They care far more about access than ownership. Ownership was only appealing to that group when it was the only means of access.

Long term, this isn’t bad news if you care about access. I have the ability to see more titles now, far easier and far cheaper, than I’ve ever had at any point in my life. Discs will probably continue as a niche format for some time, but even that is a good thing - its better for a small number of boutique labels to make high quality releases that sell reliably to a small but dedicated audience than it is for major labels to put out lackluster releases that don’t appeal to a wide audience because that audience is over physical media, and that also don’t appeal to the collector audience because they’re not done well.

But none of this news is surprising. A lot of old ways for delivering content simply don’t make sense for most people in today’s world. I used this next example in another thread recently. My wife and I decided we wanted to revisit the sitcom Frasier. I looked up the complete series on disc and saw it priced at $90, which I thought was very reasonably for eleven seasons of a show. Then I realized that Frasier was already on multiple streaming services that I already have subscriptions to. So we didn’t buy the disc. There was no point to spending $90 to wait for something to come in the mail when all I had to do was press a button on my remote to watch it for free right at that very moment. And that is what many people have already figured out.

Rather than trying to return disc to being a mass market consumer preference, which will never happen, the best way forward for the remaining disc producers is to target smaller sales goals and direct marketing towards consumers who are still interested in the product.

But again, I personally can’t see this as being all bad when I can press a button on my remote and watch nearly any movie that’s in print. I don’t want to go back to the days of having to go to a specialty store to find something outside of the top hundred titles and then have something special ordered and delivered a month later. In the 1980s, it was a week or months long project if someone said “You should see...”. Now, it’s a button push. On the whole, this is a tremendous benefit.
I think you're overselling the "push the button and see everything you want" advantage. For people who are hooked on popular series like Friends, Frasier or Married... with Children or mainstream cinema, it's a godsend! But if you're looking a 1940s Ann Blyth western or a 1960s Czech film, you just may find out that pushing that button won't help you. I have friend who's signed up with streaming services and he's constantly asking me if I have such and such a movie in my film library because he can't find it on Netflix or his other streaming services. And guess what? I usually do!
 

Josh Steinberg

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Absolutely, but if you’re looking for one of those titles, you’re already falling far outside of what the average consumer wants. That’s not to say that those titles don’t have artist merit or value. But they’re not driving the market today, or yesterday. That’s an area where physical media can still appeal to collectors because it provides a niche product to a niche audience. But these major paradigm shifts are always going to be driven by what the majority of people are doing.
 

OLDTIMER

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I think it’s sad that the average “Joe” today is not interested in picture or sound quality. Low bit rate compressed audio blaring from cheap speakers has replaced “Hi Fidelity”. Like, who’s interested in Hi Fi sound reproduction today or even knows what it is?

Although everyone is buying and watching high definition TVs, have a look at the pictures being displayed on their screens (with apparent complete satisfaction). Sadly, most people wouldn’t know (or care) if they were watching standard def, or fuzzy pictures off YouTube.

As I see it, discerning people who prefer physical media over streaming do it for (mainly) two reasons. They want to be able to re-visit their favorite movie (or sound recording) when they choose, or they prefer the best in picture and sound quality. While these people (us!) exist in any numbers, I believe that physical media will continue to be produced. (I’m also an optimist!)
 

Josh Steinberg

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I think it’s sad that the average “Joe” today is not interested in picture or sound quality.
I don’t think that’s true at all.

To give just one example, Disney+ just debuted with 4K versions of Star Wars movies that are only 1080p on disc. They look better than they’ve ever looked before for home viewing.

Digital storefronts like iTunes and Vudu, and subscription services like Netflix, often offer HD and 4K versions of movies that are only on DVD on physical media - so what streams is what’s better than what’s on disc in those cases.

Separately, I’m excited that Kino has announced a new Universal deal.

It seems like a best of both worlds scenario to me. The general public/average consumer has access to high quality streaming that meets their needs, and the smaller group of enthusiasts gets physical releases that are targeted to their passions.

For the past few years we’ve been in this in between space where studios didn’t want to release something if it would only sell a couple hundred or couple thousand copies, but didn’t want to let anyone else release them either or wanted more for licensing than the titles could reasonably be expected to generate. I think we’re now possibly over that hump, and that’s good. I’d rather a studio like Universal say, “Go ahead Small Label, license this and put it out on disc and if it makes anything, share it with us” than “It’s not worth enough to do on our own and you’re not offering enough to make it worth licensing.”
 

WillG

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If they were smart, they'd start promoting awareness of the advantages of discs over digital. I bought a Blu-Ray in Mexico that actually has an insert about that, will have to post it here.
forgive me if this has already been addressed, but i truly believe that Millennials (and many others) don’t “get” physical media and even in more extreme forms think PM is “stupid”. You can’t really change their minds.

However I couldn’t resist feeling some mirth when “Friends” disappeared from Netflix (The Office to follow next year) on Jan 1 to go to WBs upcoming service and seeing all the ape shit reactions. All I could think was “uhhhh you could own the series on PM”, but many millennials don’t even own a DVD player. Probably never seriously occurred to them that it was possible to own “Friends” on PM.
 
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Josh Steinberg

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It’s not that they don’t “get” physical media. It’s that access is more important than ownership for most people, and now that the two are no longer intertwined, having the access without the rest of the package meets their needs.

It doesn’t seem reasonable to me for some collectors to be upset at other people for feeling that their needs are being met.

Most people - not just younger people - are finding that a combination of subscription streaming with the occasional rental or purchase meets those needs. Most people are in a similar situation to the one I found myself in with Frasier - they want to see a thing, the thing is already included as part of a package they already have, so there’s just no need to take any extra steps or acquire anything further.
 
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OLDTIMER

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Josh, you're even more optimistic than me.
I was only relating what I see about me. No more crowds browsing DVDs and Blu-rays in shops, the dreadful TV displays I see in the homes of friends and acquaintances, etc. Ask a young person what "Hi Fi" is. How many average "Joes" own Blu-ray or 4K discs?
 
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WillG

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It’s not that they don’t “get” physical media. It’s that access is more important than ownership for most people, and now that the two are no longer intertwined, having the access without the rest of the package meets their needs.

It doesn’t seem reasonable to me for some collectors to be upset at other people for feeling that their needs are being met.

Most people - not just younger people - are finding that a combination of subscription streaming with the occasional rental or purchase meets those needs. Most people are in a similar situation to the one I found myself in with Frasier - they want to see a thing, the thing is already included as part of a package they already have, so there’s just no need to take any extra steps or acquire anything further.
it’s not everybody, but believe me, from personal experience, there are plenty that don’t “get” why people collect PM.

I heard the, “you’ll never watch them all and even the ones you do watch, you’ll watch only once (admittedly some truth to this)”, “they don’t appreciate in value (some OOP titles have and we’ll see further once we’re largely at the mercy of the studios and streaming services)” etc. several times. no one questions someone who has a big bookshelf in their house with a lot of books. And people forget or never realized there was a time where if you knew where to look, you could buy DVDs for the same price, or sometimes even cheaper than a blockbuster rental.
 
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jcroy

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it’s not everybody, but believe me, from personal experience, there are plenty that don’t “get” why people collect PM.

I heard the, “you’ll never watch them all and even the ones you do watch, you’ll watch only once (admittedly some truth to this)”, “they don’t appreciate in value (some OOP titles have and we’ll see further once we’re largely at the mercy of the studios and streaming services)” etc. several times. no one questions someone who has a big bookshelf in their house with a lot of books.
In most of my social circles, seeing a house full of movies was typically seen as someone who is a "low brow" bumpkin type..

In contrast, seeing a house full of books was typically seen as someone who was a refined intellectual well-read type.


Both are very unfair stereotypes, which unfortunately persist in my local social circles and numerous other ones I run/ran in over the years.
 

jcroy

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In my immediate social circles, most of them don't know what to think of me whenever I invite them over to my home for company.

They see large bookcases filled with books on highly technical subjects like engineering, advanced mathematics, etc ... and many history books. On the next bookcase, it is full of dvds and blurays.
 

Josh Steinberg

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Will, I totally understand that and am related to a few of those people.

I meant what I was saying in a more technical sense of the word - that most average consumer people understand just fine how discs work, they just don’t feel the need to have them.

There’s really no longer an argument to be made for why an average consumer (not an enthusiast like those of us who post here are), the type that generally watches a thing once, will pick a different choice without thinking twice if the first option isn’t available, doesn’t care about bonus material, and doesn’t want any of the hassles associated with procuring and storing a physical object, should still consider discs. Streaming also solves some old supply chain problems that made renting and owning tapes and then discs a hassle - you don’t have to leave the house to get it and then leave again to return it and you don’t have to worry about iTunes or Netflix being out of stock on a title.

So while I’m not unhappy that I bought the latest Avengers movie on disc, I can also understand why other people who want to watch the movie still wouldn’t see the need to buy the disc.
 

WillG

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Will, I totally understand that and am related to a few of those people.

I meant what I was saying in a more technical sense of the word - that most average consumer people understand just fine how discs work, they just don’t feel the need to have them.

There’s really no longer an argument to be made for why an average consumer (not an enthusiast like those of us who post here are), the type that generally watches a thing once, will pick a different choice without thinking twice if the first option isn’t available, doesn’t care about bonus material, and doesn’t want any of the hassles associated with procuring and storing a physical object, should still consider discs. Streaming also solves some old supply chain problems that made renting and owning tapes and then discs a hassle - you don’t have to leave the house to get it and then leave again to return it and you don’t have to worry about iTunes or Netflix being out of stock on a title.

So while I’m not unhappy that I bought the latest Avengers movie on disc, I can also understand why other people who want to watch the movie still wouldn’t see the need to buy the disc.
I hear you, and to be clear, it’s not the people who are indifferent to PM and like the convenience of streaming (I stream too) that I’m talking about, it’s the people who are actually critical of it and refuse to understand why a person would prefer it, and they do exist.

I like PM because it can’t be taken away from me, it looks the same every time I play it (a lot of streaming still looks like shit to me and even with a 4K OLED with a LAN connection, I still get blockiness, resolution drops and even load hangs from time to time)
 

BobO'Link

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Until I can sell the rights to the copies of digital titles I've purchased or will my digital collection to my heirs, digital is *not* ownership but long term renting. I'm happy to stream some things but not "own" digital copies for which I've spent real money.
 

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