Bill Mechanic is the former head of 20th Century Fox Studios, and thus can offer some interesting perspective on the inner workings of the industry. Yesterday, Mechanic was the keynote speaker at the Independent Film & Television Alliance’s production conference. In his remarks, Mechanic said that much of the blame for the current DVD retail downturn should fall squarely in the laps of the studios themselves.
Studio execs have been more worried about “making budget” and preserving profits than understanding and adapting to shifting market forces, Mechanic said. He also stated that “the maturation and saturation of DVD movies and TV DVD was a logical conclusion to the destruction of the price-value relationship in home video by the studios and low-priced rental alternatives such as Redbox.”
Mechanic also questioned the soundness of the studios’ decision to push Blu-ray on consumers during a recession.
“If I can buy Titanic for under $5 in some stores, why am I so eager then to rush out to pay $30 or so when it’s released on Blu-ray? Is the quality that great? How many formats are yet to come? They simply accepted the idea that they could resell their libraries at higher prices,” he said.
Despite the current troubles DVD retail is facing, Mechanic is confident that there will always be a market for quality films, regardless of the format or distribution channel.
“It’s not that the buyers aren’t there,” he said. “Consumers, TV outlets, retailers and yes, even pirates, want what works.”
Over to you, RedHeads. Is Mechanic on the money or off his rocker? Have the studios gotten themselves into this mess, or is there enough blame to go around?
[via Home Media]