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Streaming exclusive bonus features; commentary on Beauty and the Beast

Discussion in 'Blu-ray and UHD' started by Jake Lipson, Jun 8, 2017.

  1. Message #1 of 65 Jun 8, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2017
    Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I just discovered an audio commentary by Bill Condon as part of the Vudu Extras on the digital copy of Beauty and the Beast.

    Unless it's hidden as an Easter egg in the menus, this is not on the disc anywhere.

    Why do studios continue to devalue physical media in this way? I am so upset about this. As we have seen recently with the "clean versions" added by Sony to the digital copies of their films, the studios have the power to add additional content digitally at any time. And if they have the power to add content, you'd better believe they have the power to remove it, too. You don't truly own it unless you can actually physically hold the disc on which it is permanently housed.

    Also, putting all the bonus features in one place is the best way to maximize sales. I mean, technically I got the digital copy because I bought the Blu-ray, so it's still accessible to me, but...man, this is screwed up. I don't even have any words to explain how screwed up I think this is and why I'm so mad about it.

    They probably will not do this, but I think Disney should issue replacement discs to anyone who wants one that include the commentary on the physical disc, as they would if there were a defect in the movie presentation. If anybody at Disney reads this forum, HEAR THIS.

    I buy physical media because I want to have the best edition of the film, with all the assembled bonus features, in my collection forever. Period.

    I know Disney has done this from time-to-time with a featurette or two. I don't like that either. But something as substantial as an audio commentary? That seems to be a new low.

    It's a shame that the studios do not seem to respect us as customers. It's not a surprise, but it is shame.
     
  2. Tino

    Tino Executive Producer
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    The commentary seems to be a VUDU exclusive as it's not available on the iTunes and Disney Anywhere versions of the film.

    Thanks for the heads up. I agree it should be on the disc.
     
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  3. Matt Hough

    Matt Hough Director
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    I agree as well. I don't often want or need an audio commentary for today's movies I watch or review, but Beauty and the Beast is one that I really wanted to learn more about its production.
     
  4. Jason_V

    Jason_V Lead Actor

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    Other studios have been doing it for a while. The big one that comes to mind is Star Trek Into Darkness. The extras were split among different retailers and Paramount eventually released a "complete" set with the first reboot movie.

    It's no different from store exclusives. Why does BB get a Steelbook and Target a storybook and Amazon figures? Incentive to buy at a certain retailer (in this case, Vudu) or buy all the versions to get "everything."
     
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  5. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    "Why do studios continue to devalue physical media in this way?"

    Because they wisely see the writing on the wall. Physical media is becoming a dinosaur and they are probably testing the waters.

    Some folks have to take their head out of the sand and see that the days of buying discs to watch movies is on the way out and studios are finally seeing the tides turn so they will most likely do more of these kinds of things until they officially decide to end the production of discs.

    We are in another wild wave of change in the world of home "theaters" that many just can't accept right now so it's going to be a tougher pill for them to swallow. It's time for folks to start embracing these changes and enjoy them for what they are.
     
  6. Jason_V

    Jason_V Lead Actor

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    Well, that's a bit condescending, but okay. Let's talk, again, the "merits" of streaming vs. owning.

    When you stream, you own nothing. For some people, that's fine. However, let's look at other media. Records went away and are now back. Not in a huge, massive way, but they are back. Floppy discs for computers have evolved over time: first they were huge, then a bit smaller and now we have thumb drives and external hard drives. The media has to evolve: smaller, better enticements, etc.

    These streamers are roughly the same people who are thrilled to rent their homes for their entire lives and never own a home. That's silly in the long run since once a mortgage is paid off, you owe nothing aside from regular maintenance and taxes. By renting your entire life (which is what streaming is: renting), you own nothing and are at the whim of the owner to raise rent or decide they want to sell the property. And you're out of a place to live.

    Same thing applies here. Any studio can pull any release at any time and there's not a lick anyone can do about it.
     
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  7. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    Of the millions of folks who own DVD or Blu players in say the USA, how many of them do you think are diehard movie "collectors"? How many just rent movies to watch once and call it good? I suspect that the collector side is WAY WAY smaller percentage of the population at this point. Studios are most likely seeing the trend and gearing up for it, they'd be foolish not to. That's why you see fewer and fewer shelves of discs at BB, WM, Target etc. That's why you see fewer Redboxes around your towns.

    Odds are a lot more families are turning on their smart TV's and watching their movies via Netflix or similar outlets these days, way more than years past. It's just too easy to do now.

    Nothing about this or my above statements are "condescending" in any way. :rolleyes:
     
  8. Jason_V

    Jason_V Lead Actor

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    Some folks have to take their head out of the sand.

    We are in another wild wave of change in the world of home "theaters" that many just can't accept right now so it's going to be a tougher pill for them to swallow.

    It's time for folks to start embracing these changes and enjoy them for what they are.


    That's condescending right there. By your logic in the last line, we should all be thrilled with everything in the world and never criticize it or call out any issues.

    I'm out of this conversation.
     
  9. Alf S

    Alf S Banned
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    All of what I said is IMO true. Some folks just don't want to accept that we are in a new realm of media viewing modes and don't want to utilize it for various reasons (all of which are valid in their own right). Video tapes, DVD, HD-DVD/Blu-Ray, now streaming, we all lived through it and we will all survive this next evolution.
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Easy everybody.

    Moderators will step in if any rules are being broken in terms of posting practices.

    Let's just deal with the topic at hand...the exclusive commentary not available on disc.
     
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  11. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    Sadly, this is a new reality. Paramount supposedly got a huge outcry when they did this with Star Trek Into Darkness in 2013... but it couldn't have been too bad, since they did it again with Star Trek Beyond on 2016.

    Disney has done this sort of thing before with different types of bonus features. Most Marvel releases include some kind of retailer exclusive bonus content. Their two Lucasfilm features so far have as well. (I believe the retailer exclusives from the first editions of Force Awakens and Jungle Book 2016 ended up being included on the double dip edition; the same could happen here.)

    At least when there are digitally exclusive bonus features, the coupon that comes with the disc can help you get them. If there's a Vudu bonus commentary for BATB, for example, each purchase of a BATB disc includes a Disney Movies Anywhere code, which also works with Vudu. So you are getting an opportunity to get the content, it's just not on the disc. And yes, I agree that's frustrating. But at least it's not requiring a separate purchase. Back with the above mentioned Star Trek Into Darkness release from Paramount, if you wanted all of the bonus features, you'd not only need to redeem the iTunes code that came with the disc for the commentary, but you also had to buy a Target exclusive version to get one third of the bonus features, and a Best Buy exclusive for the other third. Only a third of the bonus content was actually on the disc itself. At least with BATB, you can buy one version from your store of choice, redeem your included coupon, and be done with it.
     
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  12. ohiograd06

    ohiograd06 Extra

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    I will say that I'm the new guy, but I have a small DVD collection. Never made the jump to blu ray, though I do have a nice Denon upscaling DVD player that makes movies look pretty good at 720p even when they are plain old 480. That said however, I don't have 4k, 1080p is good enough. I'm a computer tech, and all the stuff I've read says basically from about 10 feet, which is where we watch at, you won't see a big difference. Probably won't make that jump until 4k screens become more affordable.

    In regards to media however, most of the time, we don't buy the physical copy. I mean so much of what you want is on netfilx, hulu, vudu wherever. Like the new Captain America Civil War movie, it's been on netflix for months. They've got a new Dr Strange movie on there I haven't watched yet. Not only that, but I can see why people just buy things that way. If you have a roku, fire up the Google Play app. What you'll find is that they have many many movies with options for buying or renting. People probably look at it as less to store(one argument my wife and I have had), plus it's all right there. You don't have to worry about losing a disc or anything, you open the app, it's there. Easy.

    That being said, will I go the route of digital ownership? Probably not. Why you ask? As I said, I'm a pc tech. Imagine the scenario of if you have purchased all of your movies through let's say vudu or google for example. What happens lets say if google for whatever reason has a massive scandal, stocks slide and the company goes belly up. If they take down their services, then what happens to all of those movies and all of that money you have spent? Potentially gone. I'm not saying it's going to happen, but with only digital ownership, it's a possibility. I used to get all my pc games on steam(when I gamed on PC), and that was some folks discussions about that also.

    So for me personally, I think it's great to be able to stream and to be able to rent movies for a couple of days on services like Google Play etc, but I don't think I'll be buying that way, at least for a while. Same with netflix etc. I see where the guy above is going with the apartment dweller idea. But for me however, here's our entertainment setup. 100mbps charter internet, about 50 a month. Direct TV now for cable(streaming), 35 a month. Netflix 10 a month. And a good old flat antenna for local stations. May add an OTA dvr setup for recording older shows. So I pay roughly 95 a month. Cheaper than my old cable bill was, and I get more content I care about. Plus I can add on other services if I like. I see the industry moving that way, and unfortunately probably toward digital ownership.

    Sad about the digital ownership thing. I think most movies they make aren't worth the 25-30 dollars they want to charge when they are first released. That said, my wife has loved the beauty and the beast movies since she was little, so we will be buying the dvd/blu ray set probably on friday for her. Google play had it 14.99 I think. But to me, at the end of the day, if I'm going to own it, there's something nice about having the physical media in hand.
     
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  13. ohiograd06

    ohiograd06 Extra

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    I also do agree with the above statements about die hard movie collectors. I have a small collection, but I don't consider myself a collector. Look at the younger generations. They are so geared toward streaming, etc. Many people do piracy of movies, music software etc. I don't and do not agree with that, but what I'm saying is your movie studios, music industry etc, they see the writing on the wall. They know they'd better monetize it some way. Why do you think services like spotify, netflix, hulu, and many others are so big? I don't think a lot of the younger generation values media the same as older people. Many younger people I think feel like it's just owed to them, and that it's more like a right. Your studios etc offer streaming, discounts etc because though they'd rather make so much per copy, if they don't put things out at an affordable price for people, there might be many people in the world who will just pirate movies, music etc. So if you are a movie or music studio, you try to find a way to at the least make a little to where people feel like pirating is too much work or to inconvenient compared to paying for your services.

    Again I don't condone movie, music or software piracy in any way shape or form, but I do think that's part of why the industry is moving the way it is.
     
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  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Personally, I don't think this topic needs to go to the "physical media vs. streaming--which is better" discussion. Others may disagree.

    I think Alf raises some reasonable points that the home video landscape is changing. Enthusiasts--like most of us here--don't have to like it, but it's the truth. But it seems apparent that this falls into that category of "retailer exclusive." Us "physical media fans" don't have to like it (I know I don't. I don't use Vudu.) but this sort of slight has been the lay of the land for a long time. My belief is that retailer exclusives weaken the integrity of the "regular" release. Bonus tracks on albums, bonus features on movie releases, etc. should be universal on all releases.

    The only time I see where this type of discrepancy is slightly reasonable is if there are extremely different "Deluxe" releases which widely affect the cost of the item...but even THAT is a slippery slope.

    I understand Jake's anger in the OP. I feel it too. But I think it's more of a retailer exclusive issue than a disc vs. streaming issue. These things create bad blood. For me, the anger is not just directed toward the studios...but even at the creative artists who allow it to happen.
     
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  15. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    That's why Ultraviolet is such a good (and necessary) idea. Ultraviolet is the consortium of major studios. Vudu is merely the storefront. When you purchase a movie digitally (unless it's a Disney title, as they opted not to participate in Ultraviolet), UV holds on to your license. It's viewable in Vudu, but Vudu isn't the only place you can access it. When Best Buy's CInemaNow went out of business, customers didn't lose their movies; they merely had to log on to a service like Flixster or Vudu to view them instead.

    I can understand the skepticism of digital ownership because I share some of it. Yet, at the same time, with a service like Ultraviolet, my digital titles are more protected than my physical ones. Earlier in the week, I was watching some James Bond Blu-rays from a set I purchased in 2012. One of the discs has developed skip that wasn't there when I originally got it. There's not much I can do for that. I can email the studio helpline and hope that they might send me a replacement, but there's no guarantee that they would do so. (Some studios really stand behind their product and support it long after it's fair to expect them to; others won't lift a finger to help.)

    We often discuss physical media as having more permanence, but I think there's potential to lose a physical collection too or that it's no longer a format that's easily accessible for us. Who's to say that trying to watch a DVD or BD won't be a massive pain in ten or twenty years, the way it would be to watch a Laserdisc or VHS today compared to a BD?

    But I agree with Mike Frezon, I think this specifically is more about retailer exclusives than trying to kill physical media overnight. And, unlike a Target bonus disc, this Vudu content is included to people who buy the disc from any retailer.
     
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  16. Dick

    Dick Lead Actor
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    Plus, the argument posed by Jason makes no sense in the context of the commentary track being available only thru streaming. The person holding the disc BOUGHT THE DISC, It's physically there! Why should that person need to then stream the commentary on another program requiring a payment of some kind? This is bullshit. I will never "embrace" this sort of highway robbery.
     
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  17. ohiograd06

    ohiograd06 Extra

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    Right. I'm sayiing I agree with Alf above, that this is the way it's going, but here are some of the pros and cons. Interesting about Ultraviolet though.

    On your disc that developed a skip, if you have any movie rental stores left near you, like we have a hollywood video still in town here, take a movie/game you have to them, they have the professional grade resurfacing machine, and will resurface your disc for like 2 bucks. Might be an option. I do wish they'd give options to convert old movies to digital that you can store at your home.
     
  18. Josh Steinberg

    Josh Steinberg Executive Producer
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    To be clear, the person doesn't have to make an additional payment. Membership to Vudu is free. The disc includes a free code for digital redemption at Vudu.

    I totally get, and agree, that it's inconvenient not to have it on the disc. And I agree that having it streaming-only doesn't seem as permanent as having it on a disc. But all people purchasing the disc will get a digital copy code which can be redeemed for no additional charge and can then view the commentary that way.

    There's no additional charge to view the commentary, just additional hoops.
     
  19. ohiograd06

    ohiograd06 Extra

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    It probably boils down to as well, with a blu ray or dvd, you are limited to a certain amount of data that physically fits on the discs. With all the audio and video effects they code into movies these days, they may not have much room left on the disc for the commentary. Since not everyone will watch or care about the commentary, that's more than likely why they just toss it on vudu.
     
  20. Alf S

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    "With all the audio and video effects they code into movies these days, they may not have much room left on the disc for the commentary. Since not everyone will watch or care about the commentary, that's more than likely why they just toss it on vudu."


    This is also a key component to this whole discussion. The amount of folks who regularly or even semi regularly look or listen to the extras (of any kind) is probably EXTREMELY small in the grand scheme of things and as you stated, it's just quicker and easier to load it to a streaming set up vs. taking up valuable real estate on discs that have so little room to store stuff. Particularly DVD.
     

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