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Blockbuster Pres/COO: "End DVD Region Coding & 2-Tier Pricing"

Blockbuster Pres/COO: "End DVD Region Coding & 2-Tier Pricing"

 
Old 12-17-03, 10:13 AM
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Blockbuster Pres/COO: "End DVD Region Coding & 2-Tier Pricing"

Surprised that I haven't seen this in a thread yet.

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr...ent_id=2047010

MARSEILLES, France (Dec 5, 2003) -- Blockbuster Inc. president and chief operating officer Nigel Travis on Thursday called for an end to regional coding on DVDs, saying they merely create more opportunities for piracy. "I believe, in addition to the elimination of two-tier pricing, the studios should also make another significant strike against piracy with the elimination of regional coding," he said. "The extra time on windows created by regional coding is an opportunity that pirates exploit." Travis, the keynote speaker at the annual two-day Perspectives in European Video conference taking place here, cited "Finding Nemo," which was released on video and DVD in the United States on Nov. 4 but will not be available in the United Kingdom until March 18. "That is a five-month gap and an obvious case where people are going to take advantage," Travis said. Likewise, "Seabiscuit," he said, would be out in the United States on Dec. 16, but would not be released "in the country next door to the U.S. -- in Mexico -- until February and in the U.K. until May 17. Pirates can drive a cart and horses through these holes in the release schedule, and the loss in revenue hurts us all -- studios, distribution, retailers and, most of all, consumers, who are probably totally confused and frustrated."
Sounds like he doesn't really mean "end region codes", but wants to say "release DVD's to all regions at the same time".

I would love it if region coding would go away. But then you have to wonder what we would have to endure to get a version of a DVD with a specific language (dub or subtitle).

Mods: Wasn't sure if this belongs in International forum or not.
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Old 12-17-03, 10:48 AM
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does not make sense!!

That's like asking everyone in the world to get paid the same amount of money.
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Old 12-17-03, 11:14 AM
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"and, most of all, consumers, who are probably totally confused and frustrated."

I would think that the vast majority of consumers are completely ignorant of release dates for other countries. I don't see much confusion or frustration here at all.

Strange article. I'm not sure I understand his point completely. And, like tsinbad says, I'm also not sure that Blockbuster's CEO fully understands what 'Region Coding' means.
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Old 12-17-03, 12:28 PM
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Its hard to understand exactly what he was saying from those quotes but my interpretation is:

Dont give other regions things some regions dont get at different times. In other word's release the same product w/ the same features at the same time worldwide.

If people want a product badly and its only availble from pirates, thats where they are going to buy it. But given the choice most anyone would prefer to buy a legitimate product at a resonable price. With todays world market penetrating down to the consumer level these differences in products/ release schedules/ and price are ignorant.
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Old 12-17-03, 12:35 PM
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This is a strange statement. Releasing DVD's simultaneously around the world would not require doing away with region coding.
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Old 12-17-03, 01:38 PM
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It would make region coding irrelevant however.
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Old 12-17-03, 01:48 PM
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He's obviously confusing the terms 'region coding' with release dates. His belief is that if ALL consumers get the product on 12-16-03. Then that does not allow Joe Pirate to get a copy from Region 1 and then pirate 8 million copies for his customers in Malaysia or whereever. Obviously the pirate is still going to pirate. But now the consumers see that the product is released at their local Best Buy or equivalent. Without releasing the product on one day for the whole world, the pirate now has COMPLETE market share and does not need to compete with Best Buy or the equivalent and the customer just picks it up.


His idea WILL NOT solve piracy problems but it would definatley help. Of course the idea is irreleavent because all DVD releases come AFTER the movie has been in the theaters. In order for this to work every movie released in theaters would have to open world wide on the same day so that the DVD could be released world wide on the same day. I don't think that's going to happen.
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Old 12-17-03, 01:55 PM
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If they are serious about cutting out piracy. They should pass laws that make it a federal offense to sell or purchase boots. Then enforce the law.

They should also get rid of all these programs that allow you to backups dvd's. I have seen quite a few posters in this forum that have been into dvd's for a year or so and already have a 1000 dvd's. It seems a bit fishy to me.
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Old 12-17-03, 02:08 PM
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I dont think you can ever get rid of piracy. Think of the illegal bootlegging for alcohol during prohibition. When people want something then they will find a way to get it. When there is money to be made by supplying something a pirate will find a way to sell it.

Any why cant they release movies at the same time around the world? Seriously I dont understand any logical reason why not. There are no logistical issues that shipping via fedex overnight couldnt handle, maybe I just dont know enough about it.
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Old 12-17-03, 03:00 PM
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Originally posted by cseyer
[B

Any why cant they release movies at the same time around the world? Seriously I dont understand any logical reason why not. There are no logistical issues that shipping via fedex overnight couldnt handle, maybe I just dont know enough about it. [/B]
....because such move implies similar time frames in terms of release dates, etc. Which translates into a huge money issue again- not all distributon companies could afford to pay the required amount of fees and so on. Do you understand now...?
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Old 12-17-03, 07:14 PM
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Originally posted by Romero
I have seen quite a few posters in this forum that have been into dvd's for a year or so and already have a 1000 dvd's. It seems a bit fishy to me.
it always seems fishy to those with less. it's a shock...so hold on. some people actually work thier ass off and have money to spend. it's not just jobless teens on this site. there are a few adults.

I buy 10 and sometimes a dozen a week. am I a thief? nope...just a FREAK!

btw...with all the problems that dvds have with idiot quality control practices....having a way to back-up the collection is nothing but smart and essential. I've spent thousands and thousands on dvds. I want a back-up of each....because it's THEY who make me do it. make a long-lasting product that prooves to last with time...or give me a full refund in 5 years when the disc dies due to defects born at the plant....then I'll have no need to back-up...will I?

Last edited by gutwrencher; 12-17-03 at 07:19 PM.
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Old 12-17-03, 09:00 PM
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Originally posted by pro-bassoonist
....because such move implies similar time frames in terms of release dates, etc. Which translates into a huge money issue again- not all distributon companies could afford to pay the required amount of fees and so on. Do you understand now...?
No, that doesnt make any sense. When a studio releases a film it should go to all countries at the same time. I do not understand a money issue, pay it now or pay it later you still gotta release and distribute the films. Same for the followup DVD. In any case the costs are all passed onto the consumer.
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Old 12-17-03, 09:12 PM
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....well it might not make any sense to you but that's how the business works. I was involved with a distribution company awhile ago that had the rights for a few of the big majors releases. The business practice that European distribs follow has nothing to do with the model utilized by the studios in the States. Furthermore, quite often one company holds the rights for a certain production in the States and totally different distrib holder have them overseas. You have to understand that business is not done the same way as it is in the US.

Besides, I will point this out to you one more time- MONEY is the major issue here. How could you not understand why the market in Russia for example is not the same as in the US. People there could not afford to pay 4$ for a movie ticket (or at least the majority of them) which implies that the selection of films that will dominate the market will be significantly older....cheaper....with some minor exceptions where HUGE Hollywood blockbusters are involved.

I am sorry you dont understand....but that's the model distribs follow.

Last edited by pro-bassoonist; 12-17-03 at 09:14 PM.
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Old 12-17-03, 09:28 PM
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Originally posted by porieux
It would make region coding irrelevant however.
Not necessarily. Region codes exist for two reasons:

1. So that a DVD that is released in one region does not hit import stores in another region before it hits theaters. If the BB CEO's plan were to come true, this reason would no longer be valid.

2. A film may be licenced to more than one studio for relase in foreign territories. A DVD that is Warner here may be licenced to Sony (or some other company just using an example) for distribution in Japan. Region codes help protect the studio that acquired the distrobution rights from losing business.
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Old 12-17-03, 09:32 PM
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Originally posted by Romero
If they are serious about cutting out piracy. They should pass laws that make it a federal offense to sell or purchase boots. Then enforce the law.

They should also get rid of all these programs that allow you to backups dvd's. I have seen quite a few posters in this forum that have been into dvd's for a year or so and already have a 1000 dvd's. It seems a bit fishy to me.
Piracy is not legal now. Making it "more illegal" will not stop people from doing it. The best way to combat piracy is to offer a feature rich product at a good price.

I have never copied a DVD, but I disagree 1000% percent that the government meddle in this issue. There are legit reasons to copy DVDs, just because people choose to abuse it does not warrant punishing those that do not. I want less govenment in my life, not more.
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Old 12-17-03, 10:46 PM
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I was attempting to be a bit sarcastic with a grain of truth embedded.

I do not believe we need more laws. On the other hand I was being honest about the quanities some people "buy" within a year. I can easily see having a thousand if you have been in it a few years. Yet I seriously doubt that someone who was behind the curve for so long will buy a 1000 dvd's in a year.

EDIT: There is no way a company can put out somthing that copies dvd's inexpensivly, and truly believe the masses will not use it to copy movies illegaly. We have a nice little law in this country called the DMCA that says you can not reverse engineer or circumvent copywrite protection. The only thing saving most of you pirates is the fair use act. I have been in this hobby for a bit, and it sickens me to see the amount of piracy out there. I have even contacted the MPAA over flea markets in my area selling bootlegs.

I am also suprised no one has mentioned the pal-ntsc conversion. Either way this entire issue is mute for the most part with region free players that convert pal -> ntsc.

Last edited by Romero; 12-17-03 at 10:53 PM.
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Old 12-17-03, 10:58 PM
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Originally posted by Romero
I can easily see having a thousand if you have been in it a few years. Yet I seriously doubt that someone who was behind the curve for so long will buy a 1000 dvd's in a year.

sounds insane....true. I know 2 people in my area that have done that very thing. guess what...they bought every one of them. I've seen the collections. if you make over 100k a year(the case for them), it's not that tuff if yer nuts enough to do it. dont under-estimate a film freak. I bought about 500 this year....just with tips. every one of them was bought "off the shelf", wrapped tight and looking pretty. but if my business ever fails(fat chance)...my collection might just go up for sale.
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Old 12-17-03, 11:14 PM
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Originally posted by gutwrencher
sounds insane....true. I know 2 people in my area that have done that very thing. guess what...they bought every one of them. I've seen the collections. if you make over 100k a year(the case for them), it's not that tuff if yer nuts enough to do it. dont under-estimate a film freak. I bought about 500 this year....just with tips. every one of them was bought "off the shelf", wrapped tight and looking pretty. but if my business ever fails(fat chance)...my collection might just go up for sale.
Exception to the rule. 100k a year is not that much by the way. Not when you count all the other goodies you end up buying.
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Old 12-17-03, 11:19 PM
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Originally posted by Romero
100k a year is not that much by the way.
try investing properly. double yer $. I'll need to listen to my own preaching though....investing is something I have not done much with. as Snake says...."maybe later".
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Old 12-17-03, 11:35 PM
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Neither are your friends putting down 20 grand a year on dvd's.

Last edited by Romero; 12-17-03 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 12-18-03, 06:53 AM
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Originally posted by pro-bassoonist
....well it might not make any sense to you but that's how the business works. I was involved with a distribution company awhile ago that had the rights for a few of the big majors releases. The business practice that European distribs follow has nothing to do with the model utilized by the studios in the States. Furthermore, quite often one company holds the rights for a certain production in the States and totally different distrib holder have them overseas. You have to understand that business is not done the same way as it is in the US.

Besides, I will point this out to you one more time- MONEY is the major issue here. How could you not understand why the market in Russia for example is not the same as in the US. People there could not afford to pay 4$ for a movie ticket (or at least the majority of them) which implies that the selection of films that will dominate the market will be significantly older....cheaper....with some minor exceptions where HUGE Hollywood blockbusters are involved.

I am sorry you dont understand....but that's the model distribs follow.
I understand that this is the model being followed now. But things need to change to keep the studios from losing money to pirates. That was the point the Blockbuster CEO was trying to make and I agree with him. I certainly think that the US film industry has enough clout to influence the world market and change the way business is done. And there is nothing wrong with charging different amount for the product in Russia and still having it release in the US at the same time. No one is going to jet over to Russia just to catch a flick and save a few dollars.
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Old 12-18-03, 10:00 AM
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For those that have large collections, part of it is due to the huge e-boom back in the late 90's. I know that's where some of the people here got them. Through either promos or through clicking links to make money. That sort of crap.
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Old 12-20-03, 11:44 PM
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All movies are pirated, it just depends on how good the movie is if people will buy it or not. If a DVD is fully packed with high bitrate video, extra sound options (DTS-ES, DD-EX) and lots of extras, people will pay for the movie.
If a studio releases a DD 2.0, non anamorphic or full frame movie that is barebones, it will most likely sit on the shelf. Its up to the DVD distributors to give added value to make the consumer want to spend their hard earned money on buying the movie.
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Old 12-21-03, 12:53 AM
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Gotta remember that this is the same guy who insisted, a couple of years ago, that studios have a 2 tier pricing structure for DVDs, same as they used to have for VHS releases - so that Blockbuster could clean up on the rentals for 6 months before us normal people would even be allowed to purchase the film at a sane price. If you recall, they used to sell VHS films for about $100 for the first 4 - 6 months after release, and then would lower the price to $20 for us normal people to buy. In those 4 - 6 months though, the rental companies were the only ones who could afford the films. Blockbuster DEMANDED the same 2-tier pricing structure from the studios for DVD releases and the studios told them to "go p*** up a rope". So, do we really think that the studios are going to listen to ANYTHING that Blockbuster has to say.

Return of the King will not come to theaters here in Japan until late February, without regional coding that means the whole world has to wait for the DVD release until after the film leaves theaters in ALL COUNTRIES! Is that reasonable? Would you want this to happen? No? Me neither! I bought 2 DVD players - one for R-1 and 1 for R-2 (cheaper than buying a good R-Free player) so I buy most all of my DVDs as R-1 and rent those in the local rental shops which I don't necessarily want to own. I'll ultimately be back in the USA, so I want R-1 DVDs in my collection!

Anyway...

Last edited by danwiz; 12-21-03 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 12-23-03, 05:16 AM
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I don't find it incredible that someone would buy 1000 DVD's in one year. I buy about 300 per year and I am not making $100,000 per year. If I made that much, I would buy many more DVD's.
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