Home video is gone?

3 Stars

From the industry trade paper The Hollywood Reporter discussing how Netflix is revolutionizing how films are made and distributed: “But other industry players argue that Netflix should be celebrated, not condemned, for 
backing the type of movies that have become nearly impossible to finance using 
the old model, which combined 
a theatrical release with revenue from TV sales and home video. With home video gone, 
TV revenue down and the theatrical business dominated by studio tentpoles, Netflix is one of the few entities willing to finance non-mainstream movies.”

Netflix’s acclaimed and Oscar nominated 2016 film Mudbound was never released on DVD or blu ray (although I have a copy on DVD sent to me when I was on the 2016 SAG nominating committee), an indication that home video revenue is no longer necessary in the age of streaming and downloading. The acclaimed 2017 film Beatriz At Dinner didn’t even merit a blu ray release although it got a quiet DVD release. Another reason to be grateful to Twilight Time, Warners Archives, Kino Lorber and Criterion for swimming against the current in a dying industry. Of course, there are those who will counter that streaming and downloading is home video (or at least a form of it) but those of us who delight in holding those silver discs in our sweaty little palms know better. :)

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Kevin Collins

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72 Comments

  1. Bob Cashill

    Sony Pictures Classics is bypassing Blu for a number of its releases, as if they have to perform at a certain level to earn one.

    🙁 Well, thankfully Twilight Time has a deal with Sony and as a boutique label can possibly take on some of the Sony Pictures Classics line (which does not refer to 1930s Columbia films but to current smaller indie films, usually foreign) but sadly will be greeted by complaints of "nothing for me here" or "Where is Pepe?".

  2. I think what the “Hollywood Reporter” is referring to here is direct-to-DVD movies. It does seem to be true that the market for that is not currently big enough to support a decent budget for those kinds of titles; and direct-to-streaming is taking up the slack.

  3. I'm not a Netflix subscriber and their attempt to withhold their product from blu ray/DVD in an attempt to force you to subscribe ("if you want to see it, you have to subscribe") irritates me. Now, to irritate me even more, I've just found out that PBS has lost the rights to The Great British Baking Show (go ahead laugh :), I'm a fan) and the new season will be a Netflix exclusive. 🙁

  4. Absolutely won't laugh, it's a fantastic show!

    In that particular case, the rights situation was a little more complicated. PBS has a long-running deal with the BBC, which is where GBBB (called The Great British Bake Off over there) originally aired. However, the show wasn't actually made by the BBC, but by a production company called Love Productions. Love Productions left the BBC and signed a new deal with a for-profit network, and PBS didn't have a partnership with that network. This allowed them to make a deal with Netflix. The first "new" Netflix season aired in the UK last year; they changed three of the four hosts, with only Paul Hollywood remaining. It's still an enjoyable show but perhaps not quite as magic as it used to be. Still worth watching of course.

    I think PBS would have kept it if they could. At least PBS did make a deal for the remaining seasons with the original host lineup, as those had never actually aired here. One just finished airing on PBS last week, but had actually been filmed years earlier.

  5. It sure did– but they don't like to put out the Marvel shows, "Stranger Things" only seems to exist as a Target exclusive, "A Series of Unfortunate Events" never came out…The list goes on and on. Netflix is kind of unpredictable in DVD land.

  6. As pretty much a "classics only" person, I've found that Netflix has a pretty miserable stable of said classics, a number of which seem to shrink every year, especially the rarer stuff. I have no interest in most all new films having lost any real enthusiasm for new releases, with few exceptions, sometime in the early 80's. Too many treasures from the silent and golden age yet to uncover. I imagine the physical media may continue to exist for folks like us. We still buy it and enjoy owning it. After we're dead who know what will happen. Hate to say it, but I could give a rat's buttocks about the "contemporary" situation. Home video may be gone but collectors, archivists and historians still remain through some miracle. I ran into a large group of "flapper girls" at a TCM festival a few years back, a group of 20 somethings who talked only of Valentino, Swanson, Brooks and Jannings. It made my decade!

  7. Ed Lachmann

    I ran into a large group of "flapper girls" at a TCM festival a few years back, a group of 20 somethings who talked only of Valentino, Swanson, Brooks and Jannings. It made my decade!

    Every now and then, the kids today renew my faith in humanity. 🙂

  8. Thomas T

    From the industry trade paper The Hollywood Reporter discussing how Netflix is revolutionizing how films are made and distributed: "But other industry players argue that Netflix should be celebrated, not condemned, for 
backing the type of movies that have become nearly impossible to finance using 
the old model, which combined 
a theatrical release with revenue from TV sales and home video. With home video gone, 
TV revenue down and the theatrical business dominated by studio tentpoles, Netflix is one of the few entities willing to finance non-mainstream movies."

    So if 'home video' is gone, and TV revenue is down, what could possibly be the reason for that? What could have caused this crisis? Where could those paying audiences have gone to?

  9. There is only one reason I will subscribe to Netflix at the end of the year and that is to see Orson Welles's The Other Side of the Wind which will be shown in November. Then will cancel again like I did 10 years ago.

  10. Ed Lachmann

    I ran into a large group of "flapper girls" at a TCM festival a few years back, a group of 20 somethings who talked only of Valentino, Swanson, Brooks and Jannings. It made my decade!

    (Not to be too cynical).

    How many of these 20 something "flapper girls" were just doing a TCM festival version of "cosplay", and not from any genuine interest in 1920s era pop culture ? Or were hired as a festival equivalent of a "booth babe" ?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promotional_model

  11. Interdimensional

    So if 'home video' is gone, and TV revenue is down, what could possibly be the reason for that? What could have caused this crisis? Where could those paying audiences have gone to?

    Well apparently the younger generation is watching far less telly than we used to, & drinking less, & having less sex & babies. They're letting us down. So it's we few, we happy few, we band of brothers that love old movies, & we're getting fewer all the time.

  12. jcroy

    (Not to be too cynical).

    How many of these 20 something "flapper girls" were just doing a TCM festival version of "cosplay", and not from any genuine interest in 1920s era pop culture ? Or were hired as a festival equivalent of a "booth babe" ?

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promotional_model

    Well, they did their homework then. Seems quite a bit of studying for a "cosplay" prank, as they knew an amazing amount about silent films and stars. They were in the line with chattel like us to see "How the West Was Won" so the "booth babe" scenario isn't very likely.

  13. The day digital replaces physical media I will not be spending money on new content via digital media! I will be buying second hand discs or new discs that are still in circulation but I will be done otherwise!

  14. Ed Lachmann

    As pretty much a "classics only" person, I've found that Netflix has a pretty miserable stable of said classics, a number of which seem to shrink every year, especially the rarer stuff.

    You're pretty much after my own heart– all Netflix has in the way of classics is the Treks, Andy Griffith, Cheers and The Twilight Zone; if it's not one of those, you're basically out of luck!

  15. Dick

    I will not forgive them for refusing to provide Blu-rays of MUDBOUND and OKJA.

    I would have bought OKJA in a heartbeat. I know that I can watch it for now on Netflix, but should there ever be a time when they remove it, I'd like to have a personal copy. I know that those of us who buy physical releases are in a rapidly-shrinking minority, though.

  16. I think what everyone seems to be forgetting is that Sony’s movie division has been a source of problems for Sony and from what I’ve heard, they’ve been trying to sell off its movie and television division for some time. I know their entertainment division seems to always be struggling from financial losses and they’ve been trying to find a way out of the mess that division has been in. Microsoft seems to be in the same boat with its xBox gaming division. Thing is, consumer behavior has changed and everyone is just tired of the same games always getting made not to mention movie and television reboots, remakes, reimaginations, cinematic universes, sequels and what not.

    I can’t remember the last time a media entertainment company has produced something original and that also wasn’t bogged down with online access requirements, DRM, lootboxes and everything else that’s used to frustrate their own consumers.

    It reminds me of the tech bubble, the stock market and the mortgage bubble that grew to such outrageous proportions that the industry just couldn’t sustain itself. It was bound to happen to the entertainment industry, although, it hasn’t hit disastrous proportions yet. But, I think the industry is getting pretty close to that.

    Once in a great while, along comes a surprise movie hit like The Meg, that literally becomes a sleeper hit for a movie studio. I just think that the entertainment industry needs to go back to producing original content if it wants to save itself. But, movie studios bypassing Blu-ray formats is nothing new. That has been an ongoing problem ever since the Blu-ray format was introduced.

    Take a look at Universal Studios Home Video Blu-ray releases of Magnum P.I., A-Team, Knight Rider, Incredible Hulk, etc. While these were released in the U.K., Universal Home Video has not seen fit to release these titles here in the United States. Yet, movie studios wonder why consumers aren’t buying home video releases like they used to.

  17. tempest21

    Once in a great while, along comes a surprise movie hit like The Meg, that literally becomes a sleeper hit for a movie studio./QUOTE]

    With a budget of at least $130 million dollars, can The Meg really be called a sleeper? With a budget like that, clearly Warners had high expectations of a summer box office hit. No, a sleeper is something like A Quiet Place filmed on a modest $17 million budget but goes on to gross $188 million dollars at the U.S. box office alone.

  18. tempest21

    Once in a great while, along comes a surprise movie hit like The Meg, that literally becomes a sleeper hit for a movie studio.

    With a budget of at least $130 million dollars, can The Meg really be called a sleeper? With a budget like that, clearly Warners had high expectations of a summer box office hit. No, a sleeper is something like A Quiet Place filmed on a modest $17 million budget but goes on to gross $188 million dollars at the U.S. box office alone.

  19. I record just about every classic film I want on TCM from my PVR and make my own DVDs. We also watch some shows on Netflix through my PS3. If I switched cables and routed the PS3 through my recordable DVD player, is it possible to record Netflix shows?

  20. Thomas, a movie’s budget has nothing to do with whether a movie will be a sleeper hit. According to the official definition, a sleeper movie is something that becomes successful over time. The Meg has been in theaters for almost a month, which is a miracle, to say the least. I didn’t give the odds of this movie lasting for more than a week or two. But, it’s managed to even surpass ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’. Blair Witch Project,

    Sure, there are low budget movies that have been surprise sleep hits but also movies with budget around the $100 million range that nobody would expect to have been successful. Juno, Open Water, Clerks were also more movies that weren’t expected to generate a profit for the movie studios either and yet they generated a lot of money for the studio. Take a look at the firefly movie ‘Serenity’, while that movie bombed at the box office, it set sales records when it hit home video. I seem to recall that when Serenity hit video, it generated more revenue in home video sales than it did at the theaters and became a hit for Universal Studios. Same thing happened with the firefly TV series, where ti did better in home video sales than it did when it was first broadcast.

  21. tempest21

    Thomas, a movie's budget has nothing to do with whether a movie will be a sleeper hit. According to the official definition, a sleeper movie is something that becomes successful over time. The Meg has been in theaters for almost a month, which is a miracle, to say the least. I didn't give the odds of this movie lasting for more than a week or two. But, it's managed to even surpass 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'. Blair Witch Project,

    Sure, there are low budget movies that have been surprise sleep hits but also movies with budget around the $100 million range that nobody would expect to have been successful. Juno, Open Water, Clerks were also more movies that weren't expected to generate a profit for the movie studios either and yet they generated a lot of money for the studio. Take a look at the firefly movie 'Serenity', while that movie bombed at the box office, it set sales records when it hit home video. I seem to recall that when Serenity hit video, it generated more revenue in home video sales than it did at the theaters and became a hit for Universal Studios. Same thing happened with the firefly TV series, where ti did better in home video sales than it did when it was first broadcast.

    Clearly, we have different dictionaries when it comes to "sleeper". Obviously a film with a budget over $100 million dollars has expectations to be hugely successful or the studio wouldn't have greenlighted such a large budget. The Meg was a hit right out of the gate and opened at number one. Just what Warners was hoping for. By your definition of a sleeper, Titanic (1997) was a sleeper since it played in theaters for months. Mamma Mia Here We Go Again is still in theaters. Do you consider that a sleeper too? A sleeper is a film with modest expectations that exceed those expectations when it becomes unexpected box office gold. Again, A Quiet Place is a perfect example of a small film that no one thought would be a box office monster but it was. Titanic, Mamma Mia Here We Go Again and The Meg are not box office sleepers. They were intended and anticipated to be big box office and were.

  22. tempest21

    Take a look at Universal Studios Home Video Blu-ray releases of Magnum P.I., A-Team, Knight Rider, Incredible Hulk, etc. While these were released in the U.K., Universal Home Video has not seen fit to release these titles here in the United States. Yet, movie studios wonder why consumers aren't buying home video releases like they used to.

    Mill Creek has been licensing a lot of stuff that the major studios won't put out themselves- I got the complete series of Knight Rider on Blu-Ray from them.

  23. I don't know if home video is really (or already) gone. But it's not a good sign when it comes to a brand new show like The Orville if it is being released only on DVD and not on Blu-ray.
    That is the case at least here in Europe.

  24. Thomas, only thing I said was that a “sleeper”, whether it’s a movie, television series or novel, is not determined by its budget. It doesn’t have anything to do with whether someone has a different definition of what a “sleeper” hit actually is. According to Wikipedia; In the entertainment industry, a sleeper hit is a title (such as a book, film, song or game) that becomes successful, gradually, often with little promotion. While most sleeper hits have had a low budget before becoming major box office hits (The Blair Witch Project). Movie studios often employ this strategy in some marketing in their biggest budget movies, such as Forest Gump, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Sleepless in Seattle.

    Far as The Meg goes, the movie was produced as a B-movie. It wasn’t noted among critics that it would become a surprise hit. I don’t think anyone expected The Meg to become the surprise sleeper hit movie of the summer that it did, the film’s success shocked many in the entertainment industry. I’m not saying you’re wrong either. But to say that a sleep hit movie has to have a certain budget in order to be declared a sleeper hit is just disingenuous, at best.

    I went back to dig up some of the articles that were predicting the box office take for The Meg opening weekend and it blew expectations out of the water. Prior to the opening weekend, the movie was tracking between $18 million and $25 million on opening weekend. But, the movie took in a whopping $44 million during its first weekend. It’s also managed to stay in theaters for a lot longer than most films is proof that the movie was a surprise sleeper hit of the summer. Even Deadpool was a surprise hit for Fox Studios, which was deemed a sleeper hit for how it performed (analysts had predicted a $60-80 million opening weekend when it blew expectations and brought in $135 million during its opening weekend).

    It may be that ‘sleeper hits” may have originally been delegated to low budget films but it’s clearly evolved in its definition. I have yet to find a single definition of a “sleeper hit” that has defined such a movie by terms of its budget. Clearly, that’s not the case anymore.

  25. tempest21

    Thomas, only thing I said was that a "sleeper", whether it's a movie, television series or novel, is not determined by its budget. It doesn't have anything to do with whether someone has a different definition of what a "sleeper" hit actually is. According to Wikipedia; In the entertainment industry, a sleeper hit is a title (such as a book, film, song or game) that becomes successful, gradually, often with little promotion. While most sleeper hits have had a low budget before becoming major box office hits (The Blair Witch Project). Movie studios often employ this strategy in some marketing in their biggest budget movies, such as Forest Gump, My Best Friend's Wedding, Sleepless in Seattle.

    Wonder how many PRjedi are deliberately rigging this angle, for propaganda and/or hype type of purposes.

    ie. A way of keeping the film (or show) in the adhd news cycle.

    Nowadays it seems like the hardest part for advertising anything, is being able to stick out from all the "background noise" for more than 2 minutes.

    🙂

  26. AshJW

    I don't know if home video is really (or already) gone. But it's not a good sign when it comes to a brand new show like The Orville if it is being released only on DVD and not on Blu-ray.
    That is the case at least here in Europe.

    I’m still waiting for the Blu rays, but then again I’m still waiting for GALAVANT.

  27. AshJW

    I don't know if home video is really (or already) gone. But it's not a good sign when it comes to a brand new show like The Orville if it is being released only on DVD and not on Blu-ray.
    That is the case at least here in Europe.

    I’m still waiting for the Blu rays, but then again I’m still waiting for GALAVANT.

  28. I don't believe for one minute that physical home video will ever truly be gone. While I don't know how it is with everyone else, I just think that most consumers like to have the physical product in their hands, the actual DVD or Blu-ray. Studios have always been reluctant to release their content and there is a lot of content that studios have not been willing to release for public consumption. I can think of one movie, The Evil (1977), that starred Richard Crenna (a horror movie classic), that has yet to be released to DVD yet along Blu-ray). It was released one time as a double feature on a DVD and never issued again. There are many other shows, as well; not to mention movies. But, for a lot of entertainment fans, not everyone has access to the internet and that will never change unless the internet is offered for free to every person on the planet.

    For me, if I'm going to plop down money for a DVD release or a Blu-ray release, I want the physical product in my hands. This is why so many movie and television fans resort to file sharing because of the studios unwillingness to provide their own content that fans ask for. These studios should provide their entire catalog of movies and television shows so that fans of that content can watch them, either online, order them from the studio (through a DVD or Blu-ray format), similar to how Warner Brothers used to offer their archived titles or just make their content available for fans in some format.

    If a studio decided to offer up one of my favorite TV shows, such as Scooby-Doo, Where Are you, on home video to where I could order the Blu-ray version from them and it would be produced or manufactured on order or manufactured on demand, that is something I would greatly support. Unfortunately, most studios aren't interested in MOD services.

  29. Judging by this year alone, home media is anything but gone. I have bought more new DVD/blu-ray/UHD titles in 2018 than in any of the last 10 years. (Nothing matches the DVD onslaught of 2002-2004 when I'd buy new titles every week.)

  30. tempest21

    I don't believe for one minute that physical home video will ever truly be gone. While I don't know how it is with everyone else, I just think that most consumers like to have the physical product in their hands, the actual DVD or Blu-ray…

    I think it's just the opposite, actually. The only people who seem to prefer physical media are those that want to own titles, but most people are perfectly happy with subscription services and/or renting. Why spend $20 a pop when that'll get you two months of Netflix and more content than you could possibly watch? And the younger generation isn't even interested in buying TVs, let alone discs. They're fine with watching everything on their laptops, iPads and phones.

  31. There’s a huge sea change going on currently with younger generations, and ownership is definitely part of it.

    I’m 35 right now, married, and sharing a one bedroom apartment with my wife. Space is at a premium. It’s not unworkable and I’m not complaining but it’s very different from how I grew up. When my dad was 35, he was married with three kids, and one salary was enough to pay for all of that, and the salary came with job security and retirement savings. It’s just such a different environment today. Kids are coming out of college with massive debt loads and they’re not able to buy homes or rent large dwellings. They’re sharing apartments or small houses with friends or roommates, or moving home. They’re being offered jobs that are more freelance or contract type situations rather than careers. In that kind of environment, how do you spend money on a big TV or home theater setup when you don’t even have the cash on hand, or know how long you’ll have your current job and/or place to live? How do you commit to owning dozens or hundreds of small physical objects when you don’t have the space and may have to box it all up and move every year? Maybe you make due with a laptop that has a screen larger than my first TV. Maybe you have a lower priced flatscreen and just use the built in apps, or splurge on an Apple TV or Roku. Maybe you subscribe to a service, maybe you rent a title a la carte, maybe you download or stream pirated content.

    Services like Netflix and MoviePass and Spotify are continuing to set an expectation among younger people that recorded media has very little if any value. People in my peer group don’t understand why I’d spend $20+ to buy a disc when they can watch the same content in similar or identical quality virtually for free without the hassle of being committed to a physical object.

    I’ve said it before but it beats repeating: mass ownerships of films has historically never been the cultural norm. For a brief period before streaming was up and running but after DVD became widespread, it was often most convenient and inexpensive to purchase a disc, and that’s what people did. But streaming is more convenient and cheaper, and that matters more to the masses. Most people, when they want to watch a movie, just want to watch a movie. We here are a unique breed because when we want to watch a movie, we usually have something much more specific in mind.

    I think discs will continue to shrink to a niche market that sticks around for some time, but discs will never again be the most popular way to watch a film. Those times are never coming back. Just like people aren’t going back to listening to the radio for an hour hoping to hear a song they like, when they can instead open Spotify and listen to that song right away.

  32. Josh Steinberg

    There’s a huge sea change going on currently with younger generations, and ownership is definitely part of it.

    I’m 35 right now, married, and sharing a one bedroom apartment with my wife. Space is at a premium. It’s not unworkable and I’m not complaining but it’s very different from how I grew up. When my dad was 35, he was married with three kids, and one salary was enough to pay for all of that, and the salary came with job security and retirement savings. It’s just such a different environment today. Kids are coming out of college with massive debt loads and they’re not able to buy homes or rent large dwellings. They’re sharing apartments or small houses with friends or roommates, or moving home. They’re being offered jobs that are more freelance or contract type situations rather than careers. In that kind of environment, how do you spend money on a big TV or home theater setup when you don’t even have the cash on hand, or know how long you’ll have your current job and/or place to live? How do you commit to owning dozens or hundreds of small physical objects when you don’t have the space and may have to box it all up and move every year? Maybe you make due with a laptop that has a screen larger than my first TV. Maybe you have a lower priced flatscreen and just use the built in apps, or splurge on an Apple TV or Roku. Maybe you subscribe to a service, maybe you rent a title a la carte, maybe you download or stream pirated content.

    Services like Netflix and MoviePass and Spotify are continuing to set an expectation among younger people that recorded media has very little if any value. People in my peer group don’t understand why I’d spend $20+ to buy a disc when they can watch the same content in similar or identical quality virtually for free without the hassle of being committed to a physical object.

    I’ve said it before but it beats repeating: mass ownerships of films has historically never been the cultural norm. For a brief period before streaming was up and running but after DVD became widespread, it was often most convenient and inexpensive to purchase a disc, and that’s what people did. But streaming is more convenient and cheaper, and that matters more to the masses. Most people, when they want to watch a movie, just want to watch a movie. We here are a unique breed because when we want to watch a movie, we usually have something much more specific in mind.

    I think discs will continue to shrink to a niche market that sticks around for some time, but discs will never again be the most popular way to watch a film. Those times are never coming back. Just like people aren’t going back to listening to the radio for an hour hoping to hear a song they like, when they can instead open Spotify and listen to that song right away.

    Nailed it!

  33. I really believe that you can make a very good case for saying that the internet has ruined our cultures. First the audio recording/selling industry went kaput, then most newspapers, now home video, to say nothing about election meddling by other countries. I hate conspiracies, but I sometimes feel we are playing out a Rod Serling script. Why are aliens doing this to us?

  34. Josh Steinberg

    I’m 35 right now, married, and sharing a one bedroom apartment with my wife. Space is at a premium.

    Great point, Josh. We all tend to get tunnel vision concerning our particular situations. Space is not a problem for me so I don't mind owning physical media. Most people probably do have space limitations and are more concerned about that than absolute ownership of their content or best playback quality. As always, the masses will and must dictate the future as far as large corporate entities are concerned.

    Josh Steinberg

    I think discs will continue to shrink to a niche market that sticks around for some time, but discs will never again be the most popular way to watch a film. Those times are never coming back. Just like people aren’t going back to listening to the radio for an hour hoping to hear a song they like, when they can instead open Spotify and listen to that song right away.

    I'm 52. I remember when banks started introducing ATM machines. Many people I knew at the time hated the concept and I said to them basically what you are saying above. Now I find myself on the other side of progress. Times change.

  35. TJPC

    I really believe that you can make a very good case for saying that the internet has ruined our cultures. First the audio recording/selling industry went kaput, then most newspapers, now home video, to say nothing about election meddling by other countries. I hate conspiracies, but I sometimes feel we are playing out a Rod Serling script. Why are aliens doing this to us?

    Respectfully, no. With great power comes great responsibility. The Internet is a powerful tool placed in the hands of humans. What we do with it is separate from the merits of the technology.

  36. Worth

    And the younger generation isn't even interested in buying TVs, let alone discs. They're fine with watching everything on their laptops, iPads and phones.

    True but sad. The younger generation drives the future. It should be the other way around.

  37. From Douglas Adams:

    1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
    2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
    3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

  38. I’m not doubting that streaming services have a purpose in our economy but while I have limited space, there are only a few movie franchises and TV shows that I prefer to have the physical copy of. I mostly use file sharing and if I like the movie or the first few episodes of a television series, I’ll purchase the physical copy. I just don’t believe in streaming services because you don’t own the copy that purchase online. My thing is, if you spend money on a digital copy, whether it’s a download digital purchase or whether it’s streaming, you should be given a digital downloaded copy that is free of DRM.

    But, studios seem to be more pushing toward the whole model of ‘you don’t own what you buy’ and they’ve been trying for that for ages. But, the biggest problem is that there are far too many streaming services and there are many more coming around the corner. Every one of these studios should just get together and create a single streaming service under one banner and each studio can provide their own content. I just think that if there’s one show on each service that you like, you’re going to go broke and this is why file sharing continues to remain so popular.

  39. TJPC

    From Douglas Adams:

    1. Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
    2. Anything that's invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
    3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things.

    Yup, that's a famous quote, but it doesn't quite stand up. I was just 35 when CDs started, but way over that for DVDs, Blu-rays, laptops & mobile phones, & my 88 year old mother reads books on a kindle. But…I haven't streamed anything yet, & the closest I get to social media is putting forward my two penn'orth worth on sites like this.

  40. tempest21

    I'm not doubting that streaming services have a purpose in our economy but while I have limited space, there are only a few movie franchises and TV shows that I prefer to have the physical copy of. I mostly use file sharing and if I like the movie or the first few episodes of a television series, I'll purchase the physical copy. I just don't believe in streaming services because you don't own the copy that purchase online. My thing is, if you spend money on a digital copy, whether it's a download digital purchase or whether it's streaming, you should be given a digital downloaded copy that is free of DRM.

    But, studios seem to be more pushing toward the whole model of 'you don't own what you buy' and they've been trying for that for ages. But, the biggest problem is that there are far too many streaming services and there are many more coming around the corner. Every one of these studios should just get together and create a single streaming service under one banner and each studio can provide their own content. I just think that if there's one show on each service that you like, you're going to go broke and this is why file sharing continues to remain so popular.

    “File sharing” is another term for pirating or bootlegging – it’s illegal downloading, aka stealing.

    So what you’re saying is – if there’s something you’re interested in seeing, you will steal it, and then only after viewing the stolen content will you decide if it’s worth paying for.

    That was pretty much my point for why we can’t have nice things anymore. People used to pay for the media they would consume; now they don’t. While most people would never consider walking into Best Buy and taking a disc off the shelf without paying for it, the same can’t be said for stealing digital data.

    This right here is a big part of the equation for why the entertainment industry is in such trouble. Huge numbers of people are not paying for the content they consume which is radically changing and constricting which projects get financed and how they’re released.

  41. John Dirk

    Great point, Josh. We all tend to get tunnel vision concerning our particular situations. Space is not a problem for me so I don't mind owning physical media.

    Same here. Space + cash is not an issue for me.

    With that being said, my main issue is my own "sanity".

    (My posting history on here will attest to extreme ocd related "insanity" issues, in regard to compulsive completionist collecting of cds/dvds/blurays).

  42. Josh Steinberg

    “File sharing” is another term for pirating or bootlegging – it’s illegal downloading, aka stealing.

    So what you’re saying is – if there’s something you’re interested in seeing, you will steal it, and then only after viewing the stolen content will you decide if it’s worth paying for.

    That was pretty much my point for why we can’t have nice things anymore. People used to pay for the media they would consume; now they don’t. While most people would never consider walking into Best Buy and taking a disc off the shelf without paying for it, the same can’t be said for stealing digital data.

    This right here is a big part of the equation for why the entertainment industry is in such trouble. Huge numbers of people are not paying for the content they consume which is radically changing and constricting which projects get financed and how they’re released.

    I think you missed the point of my post. When studios don't do enough to get their catalogue content out there for their own customers, then that's what most fans of a movie or television series do. I'm sure that a large segment of the community here engages in that, as well, not that anyone would admit to it. This is also why free streaming sites are also very popular. There's a demand for the content, even if the studios won't release it. Napster, Kazaa, torrent sites, online cloud storage, filelockers … why do you think these services continue to exist? Because content creators refuse to provide their content where their own consumers can watch or listen to it.

    I'm not advocating for these fringe services but there is a demand for it, even if the entertainment industry continues to exist in the stone ages.

  43. Billy Batson

    Yup, that's a famous quote, but it doesn't quite stand up. I was just 35 when CDs started, but way over that for DVDs, Blu-rays, laptops & mobile phones, & my 88 year old mother reads all her books on a kindle. But…I haven't streamed anything yet, & the closest I get to social media is putting forward my two penn'orth worth on sites like this (& I've never tweeted, I wouldn't know how to).

    I think Adams was just making a broad generalization about attitudes toward change, in a humorous way that many could relate to, and not stating scientific laws.

  44. tempest21

    I think you missed the point of my post. When studios don't do enough to get their catalogue content out there for their own customers, then that's what most fans of a movie or television series do. I'm sure that a large segment of the community here engages in that, as well, not that anyone would admit to it. This is also why free streaming sites are also very popular. There's a demand for the content, even if the studios won't release it. Napster, Kazaa, torrent sites, online cloud storage, filelockers … why do you think these services continue to exist? Because content creators refuse to provide their content where their own consumers can watch or listen to it.

    I'm not advocating for these fringe services but there is a demand for it, even if the entertainment industry continues to exist in the stone ages.

    Sorry but this is incorrect. Such "services" exist because the content is free. It has been this way since the dial-up days of the internet. Content availability is something else entirely.

  45. At the start of the availability of DVD-R, programs were available to remove copy protection from commercially made DVDs. At the same time, public libraries had almost every movie on their shelves. I know people who have built huge libraries by copying these discs. These discs ironically are not subject to DVD rot.

  46. Worth

    And the younger generation isn't even interested in buying TVs, let alone discs. They're fine with watching everything on their laptops, iPads and phones.

    In other words, we went through all the grief and expense (both to us and broadcasters) of switching from NTSC analog television to high-resolution digital so we can watch the shows on screens SMALLER than we used to. What a waste.

  47. Rick Thompson

    In other words, we went through all the grief and expense (both to us and broadcasters) of switching from NTSC analog television to high-resolution digital so we can watch the shows on screens SMALLER than we used to. What a waste.

    Hey, even with some film makers that's okay. Only last week director David Cronenberg said in an interview, "I think Lawrence Of Arabia looks great on an Apple Watch, and it probably sounds better because it would stream directly to my hearing aids by Bluetooth.”

  48. We were already headed this way 25 years ago. I still remember seeing palm-sized handheld TVs in stores in the 1990s. My grandparents used to have a black-and-white portable TV that was much older than that. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon when you'd already done Disney and Universal and the local stations in LA were showing blocks of sitcom reruns.

    But that's a far cry from what a modern day cell phone can do. Some of the top-of-the-line iPhones can show and record 4k. You can even sync up YouTube between it and a PS4 and use one to control the other. Of course, the older standard resolution files look pretty poor on a large screen. But they were still an improvement over RealPlayer.

  49. MatthewA

    And with that in mind, some sad news: Andre Blay, the founder of Magnetic Video, and one of the men who made home video such a big deal in the first place, has died.

    My first VCR was a Samsung purchased in 1987 and some the first videos rentals i ever saw had the Magnetic Video logo at the beginning….brings back memories.

  50. Worth

    But in this case, it's not that Apple is shutting down. It looks like the distributor has decided to no longer make the title available to Apple.

    For me, it doesn't matter. The title that I spent money on is no longer available. So you never really owned it in the first place.

  51. I'm going to be Captain Obvious here:
    Step 1: buy an external hard drive
    Step 2: set up iTunes so that the external is your library
    Step 3: download your digitally purchased titles IMMEDIATELY after purchase
    Problem solved?

  52. I don’t think we have enough information to draw a conclusion. We don’t know, for instance, if Apple truly removed a title or if, for example, the user is experiencing a connectivity issue between Movies Anywhere or iTunes.

    We don’t know if this is a new purchase made from an active studio, or an older purchase made from a defunct studio.

    We don’t know if this was a legitimate purchase, or if Apple removed a fraudulent code redemption (which they clearly state they retain the right to do).

    I am not ready to start panicking just yet.

  53. Josh Steinberg

    I don’t think we have enough information to draw a conclusion. We don’t know, for instance, if Apple truly removed a title or if, for example, the user is experiencing a connectivity issue between Movies Anywhere or iTunes.

    We don’t know if this is a new purchase made from an active studio, or an older purchase made from a defunct studio.

    We don’t know if this was a legitimate purchase, or if Apple removed a fraudulent code redemption (which they clearly state they retain the right to do).

    I am not ready to start panicking just yet.

    We don't even know the name of the titles involved. This article sounds like a slanted hack job to me.

  54. Worth

    Couldn't that be considered fraud in some sense? If they're not willing to make it available to you, they have no business making it available for purchase.

    They already took care of that in the "User Agreement"- basically you have zero rights, and they can do anything they want for any reason.

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