Why not release complete series sets first?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Albert_M, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. Albert_M

    Albert_M Supporting Actor

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    I know that has been touched on before, but really West Wing, Friends, MASH and others will be releasing complete sets. We can bet that other popular long running shows that have sold season sets well will do the same.

    Why put fans through this nonsense only to release it all in one nice box with at time even more content?

    In some cases, maybe smallers sets might work as well (2-3 sets instead of 10+), but for fans that want the entire run, why does it have to be in seasons?

    Why not a Cheers Box 1: Seasons 1-5 the Diane Years and then 6-11 the Rebecca Years, if not all 11 in one box.... but release them before (or instead of 11 sets).
     
  2. Johnny S

    Johnny S Stunt Coordinator

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    Simply put... The companies want to milk the consumer for every penny they are worth. These complete series box-sets are released to get fans on the fence about buying the series to buy it at a lower price point. (& possibly to move unsold stock)The companies release shows in the season format for many reasons, but a big reason is so that they can make more money.

    Also, if studios did this we would have to wait until the series finale to get current series on DVD. Releasing the previous season of a current series is often a great tool for promotion of the new season.
     
  3. RoryR

    RoryR Stunt Coordinator

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    I think the answer is they'd have to spend a lot on the big set, while sales might not justify it.

    If they release a low-investment season first, check sales and continue the line, check sales and release the full set - they don't loose, if they spent all that money on a 40 disc set and not many people bought it - they'd have lost a lot.
     
  4. Albert_M

    Albert_M Supporting Actor

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    I understand the cost and business angle, but I'm also wondering how many people that buy season 1 that don't follow through might buy the whole show (and giving more money to the companies)

    As for current shows, my question wasn't really directed to the ones on now. I suppose people could wait like they did the previous 50 years of TV or in these cases, the companies could do the season sets - I don't know, but in the case of the many shows already off the air.... I think there is a market for releasing the complete runs and that it could be beneficial to the companies.
     
  5. MatthewA

    MatthewA Lead Actor

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    I like the idea, as I hate the waiting for if/when next seasons will come out, but...

    These sets will run up costs of hundreds of dollars, especially if it's a long-running series (imagine what Warner Bros. would charge for Dallas: The Complete Series?).

    And I know people hate DVD-18s but they will cut the disc total in half (assuming they are not manufactured at the awful facility used by Universal; Warner DVD-18s have had no problems from me so far), and save space.

    Other issues, like music rights, will not go away, of course.

    And if the complete series is already out, no fans who bought all the sets are going to rebuy it without any incentive (like bonus content, and, if necessary, corrected discs of those where cut episodes were present).

    I can see this working in HD (especially for taped shows that could fit on just a couple discs, or even one), but in standard DVD I can't say I'm optimistic.

    Cheers only has 3 seasons to go before completion, so I don't see Paramount changing their course.
     
  6. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    There's probably lots of reasons why they don't put out series sets now. My guess, DVD on TV is still a relatively new thing. A few years ago when they were releasing episodes of Star Trek in piece meal, 2 episodes per disc, there were only a handful of season sets then and no one really knew whether the general consumer would want to buy a whole season set. Then the people on this forum and others likely had a big influence by asking for season sets, so we got them. And what a boom it has been! Now the next logical step will be season sets.

    The other thing is these take time. So by releasing a season at a time, it allows the producers the time to create the content, menu design and supplements.

    And finally, the average consumer can probably stomach the price of your average season set. To buy the entire run of Friends might be up in the hundreds. Thats something the hardcore fan could deal with, but I doubt most will. The latest news on the Alias set looks pretty good, less then $200 for 5 seasons.
     
  7. Nick_Feduccia

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    I like buying complete series in drips and drabs. Some people like me live paycheck to paycheck, and can't afford to buy their dvds at HUGE amount at a time.
     
  8. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Good plan. Let's spend tens of millions of dollars digitizing, mastering, creating menus and extras and interviews for five or seven to fifteen seasons of a show before we have any idea if anyone wants to buy it. [​IMG]

    They don't do this for the same reason that Ford doesn't make 10 million copies of a new car design before the first one arrives a the dealers. Because they need to know if the things are going to sell (and how much they're going to sell) before they make a ton more. Or even any more.

    I can't believe that this is something that has to be explained to people - although the fact that it does helps explain some of the other threads and posts around here. [​IMG]

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  9. Jay_B!

    Jay_B! Screenwriter

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    but.... they do it ALL THE TIME with movies.

    They released a gigantic deluxe box set with all the Alien movies and a bonus disc and then a month later, released the movies separately for those who only want the first two.

    For smaller shows, I see why not, but for shows like Seinfeld or something that they KNOW is gonna sell, knocking a complete series box out of the gate would've done well, and then sold the sets separately for those who don't want to spend $200 at once
     
  10. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Well, thank GOD we have a brainiac like you around to EXPLAIN these difficult concepts to us!

    THANK you! THANK you!





    THANK you!
     
  11. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    You're welcome. [​IMG]

    But really, it is so much that I'm so smart...

    Joe
     
  12. Albert_M

    Albert_M Supporting Actor

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    Joe I can't believe that you can't read. My post is in reference to BIG shows - not risky titles that usually grace the title of a thread ending with the word "when?"

    How many people who buy seasons 1-11 of Cheers, MASH and Frasier are going to throw out $100 for a box after buying every season. How many big fans won't have purchased these sets already?
     
  13. Mike*SC

    Mike*SC Second Unit

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    Most DVD buyers are not die-hard fans with hundreds of dollars sitting around to spend on giant box sets. Most consumers spend in smaller increments, spread apart. Thus, a season of a show is released every five months, or every eight months, or every year. This way, each new season gets some promotion, gets shelf space in the "new releases" area, and appeals to a viewer who may have only recently finished watching the previous season. (Again, most consumers don't devour season sets in a few days, though many here seem to.)

    If they released, for example, all eleven seasons of "M*A*S*H" at once, most consumers would be overwhelmed, and most stores would not have the shelf space to devote to that many copies of all eleven seasons at once. Could they release the complete series box first, and then follow with the individual seasons every few months for those unwilling to take the giant plunge? I suppose so, but it would be a pretty clumsy marketing maneuver. And, as said above, it would mean huge costs upfront for the studio, which would prefer to spend money incrementally as the profits start to come in. They have quarterly profit reports to keep in mind.

    Also, there are very few sure things in the DVD business. A couple of years ago, a lot of people assumed "Happy Days" to be a sure seller, and it turns out not to have been.
     
  14. Jason_V

    Jason_V Producer

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    Well, to be fair, Fox did release single disc versions of all the Alien films FIRST and then went and did the Quadrilogy and then added the two disc sets. So, technically speaking, there were individual releases of the movies before the set. [​IMG]
     
  15. Katherine_K

    Katherine_K Second Unit

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    Not to mention movies are a much smaller investiment than 11 season of a television show.
     
  16. Brian D H

    Brian D H Second Unit

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    I've always thought the answer would be to use the increased capacity of Blu-Ray or HD discs. Once the format war is resolved they could easily put out Standard Definition recordings on the HD/Blu-Ray discs.

    For shows recorded on video there isn't any advantage to recording in HD, and shows like Star Trek had the effects done in SD, so again just release them in SD. If you put a SD show on HD Discs you could put an entire season on a disc or two.

    Imagine all of M*A*S*H on 11-22 discs; or Star Trek TNG on 7-14 discs. Very little shelf space and very little cost. Prices could come way down. Maybe $10 per season and $50-$100 for a series? They'd sell a ton and reduce their manufacturering costs by 3/4. Plus retailers would be more willing to stock them due to the reduced shelf space.
     
  17. Bonnie*F

    Bonnie*F Stunt Coordinator

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    To refer to your M*A*S*H example: Some people feel very strongly about which characters they like or don't. If you had to buy a $350 (38x11=418 so discount for the lack of additional packaging) big box/complete series set in order to get the show and you only wanted the first 4 seasons with Trapper and Henry Blake, are you going to invest that kind of money or are you going to wait until the single season sets are available and then spend about $120?

    It would be great to have the guarantee that all seasons would be available for purchase but very few things in this world are guaranteed and DVD releases are rarely one of them.
     
  18. Brian D H

    Brian D H Second Unit

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    That's why I wish they'd use the extra capacity on HD discs.

    To continue your M*A*S*H example it might be only $15x11=$165 --or $150 for the packaging discount. And if each season really was a disc or two this would be affordable and profitable for the studio. How many would really care about paying for the "Blake years" (or the "Potter years") if the entire series was under $200 and took up less than one foot of shelf space?

    Honestly, they'd sell a million of these. This would put it into the "inpulse buy" range for even the most lack-luster fan as a Holiday gift.
     
  19. Katherine_K

    Katherine_K Second Unit

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    I think you are underestimating the cost of shows that have nothing to do with disc packaging, such as royalties, marketing, contracts, rights holders... the discs themselves are not the largest proportion of the cost of these things.
     
  20. Brian D H

    Brian D H Second Unit

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    You're right, I was just guessing on price point.

    But putting SD shows on HD discs would still produce a significant reduction in the final price - probably enough to make more people consider buying an entire series. It would certainly put seasons into "inpulse buy" range since some of them are already under $40.

    Also, I don't think you can under estimate how much "small" sells. They same buyers who want a 2-inch cell phone would love a season on one disc and a series on five inches of shelf space.
     

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