Sunday, July 3, 2005

media: why own DVD's

Business Week has an article on the softening DVD sales market.

No one questioned the consumer's motivation to own DVD's. I think millions of people have looked at their two shelves full of so-so DVD's and wondered "Why bother adding to this?" You watch the movie within hours of purchase, are you really going to watch it again when there's an avalanche of new DVD's coming? And the three hours of out-takes and commentary and ass-kissing "making of" featurettes are a waste of time in comparison with renting, borrowing, or pirating a new movie.

People will still buy their beloved movies and TV of all time, but buying "Meet the Fockers" just because you can is dead. The industry can still capture huge revenue from people collecting their favorites, but that's a "long tail" effect, not a series of blockbusters.

The other problem is the perceived value of a DVD. By comparison with a music CD it's sensational value, but people are realizing the cost of it is maybe 75 cents. That's what happens when manufacturers put 1's and 0's in the cheapest container possible. A CD at least has tiny pictures and a lyrics sheet, but a DVD has nothing physical that you want to own.


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