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Analyst: DVD Purchasing is Disappearing

The venerable DVD continues to slowly yield its throne to another acronym. With VOD offering more profit to studios than they receive from Redbox or Netflix, the average window between most titles’ DVD and video-on-demand release has dropped to just five days, says analyst Richard Greenfield.
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This shift underscores the ever-weakening position of DVD sales in Hollywood’s home entertainment revenue stream.

Says Greenfield:

“The studios’ willingness to collapse the VOD window is a clear sign to us that the industry is admitting that DVD purchasing is disappearing . . . Consumers simply do not need to own the overwhelming majority of content released by Hollywood, when that content is so readily available via rental platforms.”

Greenfield is also flummoxed by the way some studios deal with rental companies in relation to video-on-demand windows:

“What drives us nuts is how certain studios (Disney, Paramount and Sony) allow Redbox and Netflix to offer their content day-and-date with a DVD’s release, but put a window on VOD,”

I daresay most readers on this site agree with Greenfield that the “overwhelming majority” of movies aren’t worth owning. Do your rental or on-demand activities confirm this?
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How have your disc purchasing patterns shifted lately?

(via ABC News)

15 Responses to “Analyst: DVD Purchasing is Disappearing”

  1. Visitor [Join Now]
    Farva [visitor]

    There should be no window at all. A movie should first shows up in theaters then months later be released across all outlets (sale/rental/vod) on the same day.

  2. Member [Join Now]

    If those companies put a window on the VOD release, then Redbox and Netflix should use that to their advantage through advertisments (just like BB does with the 28 day delay).

    I wait to but DVDs usually until they go down in price (unless it’s a movie I really loved and if I have the money for it)

  3. Member [Join Now]
    ChadCronin [chadcronin]

    Last year I was buying alot of Blu-rays because I was excited about the format, however the long load times cause of the DRM and annoying commerials where hitting top menu didn’t usually work, I kind of lost the excitement. I fell on some hard times this year and sold almost all of my collection with the intention to buy most of it back when times got better. Things are getting better now right when Redbox is offering the $1.50 rentals and they are carrying all the new movies I have interest in seeing. I now realize that I really don’t miss most of the titles I had bought, I Just miss all the money I spent. I seem to allocate my money to the higher ticket prices to see movies in 3D since you can’t have that same experience @ home.

  4. Visitor [Join Now]
    visitor [visitor]

    Owning a movie by having something “in your hand” means 2 big things for me:
    1) “able to watch it at a time of my choosing”
    2) having a movie i really like and would watch again
    But once I started buying movies (VHS, DVD, whatever format, it doesn’t matter) it was easy to fall into the trap of “look at this great collection” and buying even mediocre (watch once/forget it or watch once is enough) one’s. In reality, I’d say I was re-viewing less than 5% of the titles.

    VOD removes #1. It also let’s me do better with #2 as I find myself better able to avoid the impulse to just buy everything. What this means for RedBox is that as long as RedBox < VOD for costs with "close enough" convience, I'll chose RedBox. However, if the cost of "just buy" it ever get's down to $2-$3, then I may be tempted to go back to the "have a mega-collection of everything".

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Vernon Dent [visitor]

      Pirates use the same argument as #’s one and two of your post.

      The only difference is they can download an unencrypted image file or recode a rented/borrowed DVD and record either to a blank disk at virtually no cost.

  5. Member [Join Now]
    Alan Smithee [8traxrule]

    Movies don’t stay on VOD forever, and it would be awful if that became the only way to see some of them. Disney loves to put stuff on moratorium, but at least we can still watch our existing copies after they’ve gone out of print. What if Snow White was only on VOD, then nobody could see it after it became unavailable?

    “Purchases” on VOD don’t guarantee you the right to watch anything forever either- Vudu had several adult videos on their service, but they were removed after the company was purchased by Wal-Mart. Those who bought any were refunded, but that doesn’t bring their movies back.

    BTW I’ve gotten hundreds of brand-new DVDs, mostly titles from Sony and Warner, for $3 each at Big Lots- that’s the main reason I have such a huge collection.

    • Member [Join Now]

      I agree with your posts. Plus, I’m personally the kind of guy who likes to have physical copies of my movies (same with albums and to an extent, books). Another good way to buy DVDs/VHS/Blu Rays is used, they’re cheaper so you could buy a bigger collection. And since Blu Rays are harder to scratch, you don’t have to worry about the condition of the disc if you have Blu Ray

    • Visitor [Join Now]
      Firstlawofnature [visitor]

      Good points. VOD can’t be lent to a friend. Fast forwards, rewinds are inferior. Internet VOD subject vagaries of other users traffic. Lack of menus and extras. Pausing far less precise. VOD stinks in hundreds of small ways.

      Completely agree on the ‘forever’ of purchases. The digital lockers suppose that consumers will be able to keep purchases and view them wherever and whenever on future platforms. Are the studios promising me that if I buy Usual Suspects that I’ll never have to buy a new format forever? I recall the campaigns to add DVDs to ones ‘permanent’ collection. Somehow I fear the studios lawyers will see it differently. Lots of upside to digital content but built in disadvantages as well. Users will figure this out over time.

  6. Visitor [Join Now]
    Unhappy [visitor]

    So far I have always paid (in one way or another) to watch a movie. I know many people who have never paid a cent to watch movies. If the studios want to make it harder for people like me to give them our money, well, then they can keep doing what they’ve been doing and we’ll see if their wallet gets thicker or thinner.

  7. Member [Join Now]
    Casey4147 [casey4147]

    These days I’ll buy a movie I know will be watched repeatedly. I figure if I (or my kids) are going to want to see it more than a couple of times then it’s worth buying. Like visitor above, I prefer to have it in-hand for when I want to watch it, and not have to search for a rental or wait for a NetFlix.

  8. Visitor [Join Now]
    DonC [visitor]

    I watch from a machine, If I like it, then I will wait till it comes out for sale on a used DVD from the machines.
    VOD is a once only thing. If you like it, you can’t watch it next month or next year without buying it or renting it again.
    Just a couple of notes here:
    1. The stuff coming out now is pure crap! The stories are minimal, and they rely on special effects and lots of bullets and explosions to carry the movie. Hire some writers that can weave a story Hollywood!
    2. When did some idiot decide that Science Fiction meant horror and Romance meant skin flicks? Lets figure out what they genre really is, and accurately describe what is being offered, whether it is on DVD or VOD!

  9. Visitor [Join Now]
    DonC [visitor]

    One other thing:
    Remember these formats in audio:
    78s, 45s, 33s (or LPs), Reel to Reel tape, 4 track, 8 track, cassette and CD?
    In video:
    16 mm, Beta Max, VHS, 8mm, super 8, DVD, Blu Ray?

    When There is no profit in making anything permanent, so as technology advances there is a new format.

    In other words, DVDs and Blue Ray are destined to go away. Everything will become pay per view in some way. VOD is in its infancy, and will also be replaced, maybe like FM replaced AM radio. Maybe like subscription TV (cable and satellite based) is replacing broadcast TV.

    Get used to change. There are only 3 sure things in life: Death, Taxes and Change! And the cost of all of them is going up!

  10. Visitor [Join Now]
    Jezzie [visitor]

    I have a huge collection of dvd’s, but I only buy movies my family will watch repeatedly.When we lived overseas,buying movies was the only way we could see them.I have cable and netflix. Most of my movie watching occurs on netflix or my personal collection.I have EVERY disney movie ever released because we all enjoy them.I would hate to see dvd’s disappear completely.but agree that most movies released will be watched once or twice.

  11. Visitor [Join Now]
    Myonavitch [visitor]

    I haven’t purchased a DVD in years. I own a collection of somewhere around thirty DVD’s that I wish to view again and again. But there’s no one movie, in my opinion, put out in the last few years worth viewing again. Thank heaven for a dollar a hit RedBox.

  12. Visitor [Join Now]
    Linda [visitor]

    I do continue to buy the DVD’s I like because I can watch them when ever I want. It’s like a good book. I continue to read the same stories time and time again.

    The one thing I don’t like about Video On Demand from the cable companies is that should your cable go out, for what ever reason, I can still stick my DVD in my player and I can sit and watch one of my favorite movies.

    I still have VHS tapes that I watch also :>)