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Lamenting the demise of the DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by EdHoch, Oct 5, 2014.

  1. EdHoch

    EdHoch Stunt Coordinator

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    It appears that Disney, along with most other studios, have decided to discontinue the practice of selling a DVD/Blu-Ray combo pack. I first noticed this with the release of the Captain America sequel, and now I see it's the same thing with Guardians of he Galaxy and Days of Future past.

    This is unfortunate because our family has a Blu-Ray player at home, but for the car, travel, etc, we have portable DVD players. The Blu-Ray/DVD combo pack was perfect for us.

    We are now being forced to choose, and so far we are choosing flexibility of the DVD over the higher video quality Blu-Ray. Now, the combos are Blu-Ray/3D Blu-Ray and Digital Copy. We currently have no use for the latter two, no 3D Blu-Ray players or compatible televisions, not interested in viewing on cell phones or tablets...although this may change.

    The studios are missing out because we were willing to pay more for the DVD/Blu-Ray combo...an option now denied to us.

    Not sure if there's a way to give this feedback to the content providers, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway
     
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  2. Carabimero

    Carabimero Producer

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    You just said exactly what I would have thought if I had been aware of the shift. I second lamenting this demise. Thanks for your post, but sorry you were incited to make it.
     
  3. Allansfirebird

    Allansfirebird Supporting Actor

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    It likely comes down to a question of profitability. Why combine two formats into one package, when you could split it up into two and increase sales?
     
  4. ROclockCK

    ROclockCK Screenwriter

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    ...perhaps a question for Criterion? Recently, they've chosen the opposite direction: more combos.
     
  5. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned
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    Which makes sense, as Disney was the one who invented Combo packs in the first place.
    "So we can all have a spare DVD for the car and the kids' room?"...Er, noooo: It was originally invented, coincidentally enough, for the earlier original release of Sleeping Beauty on Diamond Edition Blu in 2008--Back when either nobody was looking at Blu-ray players, or wouldn't be able to afford one for three years, by which time the limited-time title would have gone back into the vault. And they didn't want disgruntled latecomer fans hounding them about "not being allowed" to buy the Blu later, as the studio was already getting enough of that guff over the Bambi and Fantasia releases on DVD.

    So, they came up with the idea of "Future-proof your collection!" and getting a bonus DVD to play now, while you were stockpiling Blu disks and saving up for that Blu player in your future. If that tagline sounds familiar, it was also used on selling 3D+2D combos for their 3D sets, and folks did get the basic idea on that one.
    After the Sleeping Beauty and Pinocchio combos sold well, Disney decided to push "future-proofed" Blu sales for their new movies as well, offering combos on Wall-E and High School Musical 3, and by that time the idea stuck.

    If you ask people today why we get a DVD, and they say, "It's easier to have a spare", or "This way they don't have to sell the DVD release!", it's a monument to how far off the topic fans threw the discussion. The DVD fans who were supposed to get the idea still didn't catch on, and when Disney delayed the DVD-only release of Snow White by six weeks, to get DVD buyers to buy the combo (even packaging the combo in an alternate DVD box, to "fool" them), the six-week delay hit the headlines, and DVD fans cried that the studio was "mean" to them...Facepalms all around.
    Ending the DVD-combo release now is basically correcting a mistake that should have been corrected four years ago, if but for that fans were too clueless to realize it was a mistake, and forgot why they were still celebrating the ritual to begin with.
     
  6. jcroy

    jcroy Producer

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    The question is whether bluray/dvd combo packs made much of a difference in overall sales.

    The movie companies probably have enough sales data over the last few years, to see whether it was a success or not.
     
  7. bruceames

    bruceames Supporting Actor

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    Criterion already announced they are discontinuing combos by the end of the year.

    Lionsgate was not doing combos but started up again with them last year, mainly on the $50+ million box office movies. But the trend now, especially with Fox and Disney/Marvel, is clearly less combos. Except for movies targeted towards kids, combos for the most part have outlived their usefulness. Their purpose was to promote Blu-ray by getting consumers to crossover from DVD and not forcing those consumers who want both flexibility and quality to choose.
    But now with digital growing rapidly and Blu-ray growth having peaked, the focus now is on using Blu-ray to promote digital by including UV/DC codes.
     
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  8. bruceames

    bruceames Supporting Actor

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    It has made a difference in terms of unit market share among individual titles. From tracking the Nielsen top 20 DVD/BD titles over the last several years, I have noticed that a combo an average adds about 10% to the BD share. For example, the latest Captain America got a 60% share in week 1. But a title like that would have gotten about a 70% share had it been a combo. Not having a combo forces people to choose and some will choose the DVD. Also the future proof option goes away. So it does make a difference.
     
  9. Ejanss

    Ejanss Banned
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    Basically, those off-topic folk who claimed the DVD copy was to "have a spare for the kids' room and car" saw it made obsolete by Digital HD streaming...Which the combo could now do with a piece of paper. (Thus making the "Digital copy disk", to download the iTunes hard copy, also obsolete.) Seeing as most "travel" players had moved on from hard DVD disks anyway.
    You'd think they would be the ones happier about ending it.
     
  10. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

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    I'm disappointed that Shout! Factory isn't really doing Blu-Ray/DVD combo packs anymore. I asked on their Facebook page if they were being phased out or if there would be more in the future, and they told me they can't say for sure. I've looked at their website, though, and it seems that after "Nightbreed" comes out that they won't be doing any more Blu-Ray/DVD combo packs. I'm planning on buying a external Blu-Ray player for my computer soon, so eventually this won't be an issue, but I wish Shout! Factory would still do Blu-Ray/DVD combo packs for those who haven't upgraded yet.

    Sincerely,

    John Kilduff...

    I'll most likely be buying the external Blu-Ray player after going to Chiller Theatre later this month.
     
  11. Mark-P

    Mark-P Producer

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    I'd much rather have an HD digital copy in place of a standard definition DVD as a bonus in the Blu-ray package. Though I do wish that all download codes included both iTunes and UV to cover all the bases.
     
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  12. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Couple quick points I wanted to throw in, because, well, when else am I gonna get to use this otherwise useless trivia?

    - The original "Wall-E" Blu-ray did not include a DVD. There was a version that included just the movie and a bonus disc, and then a combo back that included the Blu-ray, bonus disc, and a digital copy (back when Disney provided them on discs). The edition that's out now that includes the Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy is a repackaging and not the original release.

    - Marvel makes it's home entertainment packaging choices independently from Disney. That's why, for example, while Disney has dropped 3D support for their own movies (Frozen and Maleficent, to name a couple), Marvel has continued to support 3D. Marvel dropped the extra DVD, but Disney did not; both Frozen and Maleficent include a DVD copy of the film.

    A few years ago, Disney was releasing a crazy number of SKUs per movie -- off the top of my head, they'd routinely do
    - a 3D Blu-ray + 2D Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy combo back in Blu-ray packaging
    - a 2D Blu-ray + DVD combo pack in Blu-ray packaging (sometimes, but not always, with a Digital Copy)
    - a 2D Blu-ray + DVD combo back in DVD packaging (sometimes, but not always, with a Digital Copy)
    - a DVD in DVD packaging

    I can see how that might be unsustainable - shelf space for movies at stores is shrinking, so in light of that, what store would want to carry four versions of the same title?

    I don't really use either the DVD copy or the Digital Copy all that often, but I understand how they can be useful to have. I usually find the DVD to be more useful than the Digital Copy. The Digital Copy isn't without merit; it's cool to be able to go to a friend's house, and if they have a Roku or whatever, log on to my account and have some of my collection with me. But the extra DVD has a little more value with me, it's easier to lend out the physical object, and some of my friends are still DVD-only, so that copy comes in handy for their sake. What I've noticed specifically in the case of Disney/Marvel is that dropping out the DVD on the 3D combo pack has resulted in big savings. I just checked my purchase history on Amazon and it said that I paid $31.99 for the 3D Blu-ray pack of "Iron Man 3" which was the last to include a DVD. For "Thor: The Dark World" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" on 3D Blu-ray, those two titles were about ten dollars less ($22.99 for Thor 2, $19.99 for Cap 2). Those weren't the list prices, those were the prices of the titles on their first day of release. If you ask me, "would I like a DVD copy included for free?" the answer is of course yes. But if the question is, "would I like a DVD copy for an extra $10 added to the purchase price" the answer is no. I like the inclusion of the DVD, but it's not something I want to pay more for.

    So it seems that for whatever reason, Marvel has dropped the DVD copy from their combo pack, while Disney has dropped the 3D disc. Fox seems inconsistent - "The Fault In Our Stars" which came out a few weeks ago includes a DVD. "X-Men: Days Of Future Past" which comes out in a few weeks does not.

    I'm a little surprised that we haven't been moving more in the direction that Criterion tried, with just a single release for each title that included both DVD and Blu-ray. For their Blu-ray fans, this was at worse not a big deal, and at best a nice bonus, because they didn't raise the price of the Blu-ray. But for DVD-only viewers, there was some outcry because now they were being forced to pay the higher Blu-ray price just to get a DVD. So Criterion appears to be reversing track and now bringing back stand-alone DVD releases. But I wonder if that's not the right direction to be moving in eventually. It seems physical media in terms of market share and all that is declining. It also seems that there are some people who are never going to upgrade from DVD. Criterion's idea to combine both discs into one package to save money on design and packaging made a certain amount of sense to me, and you'd think retailers would support it - it would eliminate a lot of packaging confusion and allow them to fit more titles in the same space if they didn't have to carry two or more different formats for each. And if the studios were smart, they would pass some of that savings on to us, because in the end, that might encourage those who love discs to keep buying them or at least not actively discourage them.
     
  13. schan1269

    schan1269 HTF Expert
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    I've seen a pattern in losing the DVD in a combo. Touched on already...Big movies many would watch at home as an epic...lose the DVD.Movies that travel well(or more interest "kids") keep the DVD.And doesn't UV (and iTunes) allow you to burn a DVD?
     
  14. Wayne_j

    Wayne_j Producer

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    Nope.
     
  15. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    The bitch of it is, they aren't charging less for the omission...
     
  16. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Marvel's releases have charged less, at least in the small sample size they've put out. Starting with the films that Disney has distributed, both "The Avengers" and "Iron Man 3" included a DVD - the Blu-ray 3D editions went for about $30 on their first day of release. (I paid $31.99 on Amazon with their pre-order price guarantee, and that was the final price I was charged. The pre-order price was closer to $40.) Compare that to "Thor: The Dark World" and "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" on Blu-ray 3D, which went for about $20 on their first day of release. (I paid $22.99 from Amazon on Thor 2, and $19.99 for Cap 2 from Target.) Dropping the DVD out of the package ended up saving me about $10 per title.
     
  17. Tony J Case

    Tony J Case Cinematographer

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    That Blu/DVD combo may have been fine for those of you with kids - however, I have no need for both, and paying redicilous prices for a 2 disc set when all I want is a cheaper 1 disc set really honked me off - so this is GREAT news. Now we'll start to see more reasonable prices!
     
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  18. rsmithjr

    rsmithjr Screenwriter

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    I never liked the combo and saw it as an unnecessary expense. All of my systems were converted to Blu-ray many years ago, including computers. I can see benefits for certain kinds of users however.
     
  19. Persianimmortal

    Persianimmortal Screenwriter

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    In many ways the Blu-ray/DVD combo approach was mismanaged. As noted by others, it seems the initial aim was to get people to switch from DVD to Blu-ray with a no-risk strategy: buy the combo, play the DVD now, use the Blu-ray later. I doubt it was ever specifically designed for people to use one and give the other away, or use one for themselves and one for the kids, as that could only cannibalize sales in the long run.

    What should have happened is that the studios should have released ONLY the Blu-ray/DVD combo version, with no other option. That way many DVD buyers would have been forced into at least obtaining a few Blu-rays, and thus curiosity may have eventually got the better of them, and they would buy a cheap BD player (or use it on their existing PS3), and hopefully become hooked when they saw the difference.

    What we got instead sent a very confused message. Particularly as typically the BD/DVD combo pack was sold in a Blu-ray case, in the Blu-ray section of bricks and mortar stores as well as online stores, whereas the DVD version was sold in the DVD section - so obviously most of the time the average DVD buyer will see and buy just the DVD version.

    Personally, and with apologies to those who found them useful, I'll be glad to see the end of BD/DVD combo packs, especially from Criterion where it only makes a large package even larger. I just want the BD; I don't want to pay a cent more, or sacrifice any extra storage space, for a superfluous DVD.
     
  20. Billy Batson

    Billy Batson Producer

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    Well I only ever play my discs in the player under the telly, so (for me anyway) I could never see the sense in including a DVD with a Blu-ray, if I'd wanted a DVD, I'd have bought one.
     
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