Too many releases at once?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by BradD, Jun 7, 2004.

  1. BradD

    BradD Stunt Coordinator

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    With more and more television shows being released on DVD, is it possible that there will be an over saturation of new releases which in turn may lead to poor sales of some series (too many to choose from and can't buy them all)? I'm so far behind with my purchases now that I'm not sure I'll ever catch up. My concern is that a very high supply and not enough demand may cause slow/poor sales, which in turn may lead to the cancellation of future releases of season sets of some shows. Obviously, this leaves incomplete series sets. Anyone else concerned about this?
     
  2. Deb Walsh

    Deb Walsh Stunt Coordinator

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    Unfortunately, this is a real concern, I think. I know I'm having to be more selective about what sets I'm planning to buy. I'm running out of money, things I want are coming out so fast. A number of upcoming releases are no-brainers for me, and I'll buy them without hesitation, but the ones I might have done blind are probably not going to happen now because I want other releases more.

    One thing that might come out of it is better competition - better mastering on sets to compete for consumer dollars. Or more features, etc. Studios that have historically not listened to consumer requests (like for "play all," etc.) may find they have to in order to compete.

    Time - and purses - will tell.
     
  3. Randy Gray

    Randy Gray Stunt Coordinator

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    I agree. This month alone I'm going to have to split up my purchases because there's too many that I want. Of course that's not a bad thing because I'll still purchase them but I just hope that I don't get behind. I already waited too long on a couple of series, mostly A&E releases.

    Randy
     
  4. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    ditto...I've been saying this since I saw the thread earlier this year proclaiming "A great year for TV on DVD". Add in things like the 9 disc Hitchcock set, the Aliens set, Star Wars, etc., and I am afraid that it may actually be a rough year for all but the biggest titles. Besides that, I would say that the bulk of DVD sales are still in brick and mortar stores that have a limited amount of shelf space, thereby limiting how many titles can even be stocked to help with impulse buyers. I think that companies need to start looking at the "cracks in the dam" before the dam breaks...
     
  5. Dillon*G

    Dillon*G Second Unit

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    There are tons of old tv releases I want to get because I missed them the first time around but I don't have the money.Even tomorrow I won't to be able to buy one of the shows I want (SCTV) so I won't have that for a while unless theirs a slow week of releases.Even if their is a slow week I usually can't buy anything I missed because i'm saving up for the next week or the next week.If I had a couple weeks of no new releases I would love that where I could catch up but I don't think that's going to happen. [​IMG]
     
  6. Casey Trowbridg

    Casey Trowbridg Lead Actor

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    Warning: Long Post ahead, but I liked this topic.

    I’ve thought about this, and it is a good question. At first I tried to compare this to movies, and the number of titles released on a various week. Then I found that there are 2 problems with this set.

    1.A big difference exists in terms of consumer security. If Shrek had sold poorly on DVD, that probably wouldn’t have stopped the release of Shrek 2 on DVD, although they might have scaled back on extras and stuff it would still probably come out.
    Yet, in the TV on DVD world, if season 1 of a show bombs, season 2 is in most cases doomed. So what you buy now will affect what you are able to buy later.
    2.Generally, TV on DVD sets sell at a larger price than movies, and so for many it is easier to buy 3 movies on release date than it would be to buy 3 TV box sets.

    So that’s why, I think this is an interesting discussion. Generally, I think the individual studios are careful not to release a ton of TV product on the same day, and still you can go for a few weeks before seeing a TV Show released from a studio. Yet as more and more come out, you might have a TV box from Warner hitting on the same day as a couple from Fox, maybe a Paramount title and maybe a lower priced Columbia set. I think over time, with certain shows you will see the studios do what they do with movies, which is position a show for a release where it can do maximum business. In other words they might look at a week as being light on TV product and drop one of their big shows in to that week. Or, move a show away from a release from another studio. You don’t think for example that the Star Wars trilogy coming out on Sept. 21 didn’t have an impact on other studios planning? I think this could be very possible for TV shows eventually also.

    Here’s the best advice I can give for buying something. If you’ve got 2 shows out on the same day and 1 is a first season release and say the other is third season, buy the first season release right away and wait on the other. I suggest this because if a show hits season 3 then its probably not going to be discontinued due to poor sales. Studios know that subsequent season releases project in the same area in terms of number of sales as first season releases. Plus, first season sales are the ones the studios look at hardest from what I’ve heard, and from what simple logic suggests. They are closely followed for a time, and then a determination is made regarding whether to release future seasons in the same format, release the seasons with fewer extras and other stuff like that, or not release them at all.
    If both shows you want are later seasons then picking one over the other is not going to harm the one you don’t pick. If they are both season 1 releases, then buy one right away and buy the other ASAP. If there’s a season 1 release of a show that you have to put off buying for a month or so, and then you’ve got a day where a couple of other stuff you want comes out with a season 2 or 3 release or whatever, then simply go back and pick up the season 1 you couldn’t get the prior month. The only drawback to this method would be that often the best prices on a set are found release week.

    So basically in my case, if a season 1 of a show hits the same day as the season 3 of the other show, I’ll buy the season 1, unless the other show is one I enjoy a lot more, I might buy Friends S. 8 before Home Improvement S1 but I would get the latter ASAP. Other acceptions would be if I just couldn’t wait to resolve a cliff hanger or if I knew that one of my favorite eps was finally hitting DVD, or even if the first season of a show I liked was not one I found to be all that great quality wise.
     
  7. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    I like your thinking about the first vs later season dilema...however, the scheduling thing isn't really working. I believe that in the Weekly Roundup for last week's releases that someone mentioned that there were nine or ten TV releases in that one week. Personally, I am really picky about what I buy. I could care less about stuff like Punky Brewster, Joe Shmoe Show, etc. My concern is that flooding the market with "Gen-X" tv shows of questionable merit (I KNOW I'm gonna catch hell for that term) is bad for ALL TV on DVD sets...
     
  8. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    Casey, that's a good point. I have been limiting my purchases of TV seasons, partially because there aren't that many shows that I'd really like to have, and partly because it could ruin my budget.

    However, I have another problem with the number of shows that are popping up. I'd rather have movies. Back in '97, I had a list of about 400 movies that I wanted. I had some on VHS, but most of my tapes are too old to play anymore, so I chucked them, and it really hurt. But now, it looks like there are more factories cranking these puppies out on DVD.

    Out of those 400, I have less than a hundred left to get, and constantly wonder how long it would take me to get them if there weren't any such thing as TV on DVD.

    I'm not saying that I don't like TV on DVD, but I think that they have really jumped the gun by coming out with so many at once. I almost wish they would slow it down a little, just so the consumers would have a chance to breathe.

    Does anyone have any idea how the TV on DVD shows are being 'rated' in terms of sales against their regular movies? Like would movie 'A' sell less because Season 1 of a TV series came out at the same time?

    As the saying goes, robbing Peter to pay Paul. This could be a potential disaster if they aren't careful.

    Glenn
     
  9. Joe Karlosi

    Joe Karlosi Producer

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    There aren't enough of the older TV Shows I personally want to own to even feel what everyone seems to be concerned with.

    Generally speaking with TV as well as movies, I just don't understand this "oh, there's too much to buy!" cry. For so many years of DVD, everyone was griping that releases weren't coming out fast enough; and now everyone's upset because there are too many to buy at once!

    The main thing is to have the items RELEASED, and for them to be there on the shelves whenever you're financially ready to buy them. They're not going anywhere and there's no law that says you have to buy them immediately.
     
  10. Randy*S

    Randy*S Second Unit

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    Being homebound and not able to get out much my only entertainment is classic tv, (70's and 80's) video games and of course the internet. Anyway, I scan the release schedules at tvshowsondvd.com and videoeta.com each month and preorder one or two box sets depending on how much the sets cost. They give me something to look forward and occupied for a few weeks, but with all the sets flooding the market I'm having to be very selective about which sets to get. Every two or three months would be great instead of every month.
    I had four sets ordered, but I did'nt realize that ALL four
    release on june 29th!!
    I don't know, I'm with you guys. I'd hate to complain because I'm really glad that these sets are getting released but geez with my pitifull little budget it's hard to keep up or even choose![​IMG]
     
  11. Gord Lacey

    Gord Lacey Cinematographer

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    That used to be true, but now we have Paramount and Universal releasing a ton of stuff on the same days. Late-Aug/Early Sept is going to be CRAZY!

    Gord
     
  12. EricSchulz

    EricSchulz Producer

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    But the studios have pretty much all stated that subsequent releases of a show are based on the sales of season one. If too many people "hold off" on buying that first season, it threatens the release of future sets. Look at The Mary Tyler Moore Show... season two was due in March of '03, but slow sales of season one killed it.

    Thank God there are companies like Image that made a commitment to release all five seasons of The Dick Van Dyke Show before the first set ever even hit the shelves. Then I don't feel that pressure to buy them the first week out.
     
  13. Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    Besides the Star Treks, The X-Files, Mash, Buffy, The Simpsons, Futurama, The Sopranos and Babylon 5, how many TV shows on DVD have reached beyond the season 3 mark?

    For me, the biggest problem with all the releases is finding time to watch them all. I hate buying DVDs - especially TV shows - and letting them sit because I don't have a chance to see them all. That's the main reason I limit the shows I buy.
     
  14. BradD

    BradD Stunt Coordinator

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    I believe you missed the point Joe. It's not a matter of just too many releases and too little finances. It's too many releases >>> slow sales >>> NO NEW SEASON SET RELEASES for some shows.
     
  15. BradD

    BradD Stunt Coordinator

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    For some people not enough time in the day is the problem, not finances. Never the less, this leads to slow sales, and ultimately may kill a series full release on DVD.
     
  16. Robert Ringwald

    Robert Ringwald Cinematographer

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    He was saying that if something comes out, you don't have to buy it RIGHT on release date.

    I didn't get Buffy season 6 or Gilmore Girls season 1 yet, but will this summer... and the prices for both are exactly the same as they were when they were initially released. Waiting a month isn't gonna kill your wallet.
     
  17. Andrew Radke

    Andrew Radke Screenwriter

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    Another thing that we should take into consideration is whether or not certain shows will be "discontinued" over time. This has happened on many occasions where there was a particular movie I wanted (the original release of 'Scarface' for example), and it was no longer on the market. Will TV sets have the same fate? I for one, am on an extremely limited budget, and in many cases it may take many months to a year before I can get certain sets I'd like. Who's to say the studios won't pull those sets from the shelves at any given time?

    I love the fact that TV on DVD has exploded onto the scene. But not everyone here can afford 1, 2 or 3 sets per week. I'm lucky if I can afford that a month. lol. I only hope that all sets released REMAIN on the market, as opposed to being discontinued. This way, somewhere along the line, we 'Joe Six-Packs' can eventually get them.
     
  18. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I'm in that boat. There are a ton of TV shows that I have passed on due to the fact that I'd never be able to watch them all.

    It's such a catch 22: The tons of releases are great because of selection, but once you've found a season 1 title you really like, you fear that it may get buried due to market dilution.

    This is obviously a bigger fear over DVD movies because (as many have mentioned), we're talking about the security of future seasons. With so many shows having 5+ years of programming, what can be done to ensure that every TV show (released on DVD) is guranteed a complete run?
     
  19. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    That's another thing. Some of you only seem to be concerned about the status of the shows YOU want than the principle of the thing. "Who cares if one long-running show gets only two seasons out? I never liked it, and no one else did either."

    You assume your opinion is everyone else's and that things will occur accordingly. A nation of 281 million people will have 281 million opinions. I have yet to see two identical DVD collections.

    A glut of movies have come out, and the sky has not fallen yet. There is no reason to assume the sky will fall for TV series.

    There's this peculiar little thing called competition that will determine what sells better than others.
     
  20. John*P

    John*P Second Unit

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    I resent the posts that slam the "Gen-X" shows. In fact, shows like Alf, Punky Brewster, Pee-wee's Playhouse etc are the DVD sets that I'm the most excited about. (and yes, I want every episode of them on DVD) They're childhood favorites that I'll cherish forever, and also, I think they've all aged well, and are still very funny IMO. I know many people who feel the same way about those shows. Those sets are extra fun to watch, because unlike Family Guy or Malcolm in the Middle, (current favorites of mine) many of those 80s series aren't played on TV, so DVDs are the only way to see these shows again.

    If you guys think TV on DVD is an expensive hobby, how about video games? There are three console systems on the market right now, and there are new $50 games being released for them just about every week. With games, though, I guess its different, because if a game bombs in sales, you don't have to worry about not getting more seasons of that game. =P Thank goodness I quit playing video games years ago, otherwise I'd be broke now. TV on DVD is somewhat cheap in comparison to video gaming.
     

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