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Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

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Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Old 11-21-19, 02:55 PM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by Shannon Nutt
I was just thinking I'm not going to buy the Star Wars movies in Ultra 4K now. It's also going to greatly curb my digital purchases on Vudu, which may be why Walmart is shopping it around, looking to sell.

If Warners follows suit with a bunch of UHD versions on HBO Max, I may just retire from physical media and use that $$$ for these streaming services.

We all talked about Disney + being the "Netflix killer", but it's going to kill physical media first.
Disney+ has an inherent problem in that it's focused exclusively on Disney and its holdings. Disney has a huge catalog, and it's fun to dig through it right now, but once Disney and Fox content finishes migrating from other streaming services, that catalog's growth will slow dramatically. Netflix's model of continually refreshing its catalog by licensing content from other sources has a big advantage in keeping subscribers interested in staying subscribed. Netflix also has vastly more original content released week in and week out.

At a certain point, people will watch all their favorite Disney movies and shows. Once that happens, it will be hard to hold onto them as subscribers unless Disney significantly ramps up production of original content. Right now, all it basically has is The Mandalorian, which will run out of episodes shortly. The platform's other original shows are pretty weak and none of them are flashy enough to anchor subscribers.

If subscription numbers trend the wrong direction, I wouldn't be surprised at all if Disney re-introduces the Vault system and starts cycling content into and out of availability on Disney+ as a desperate attempt to make people stick around and wait for their favorites to come back into circulation. When that happens, physical media is going to look a lot more appealing to people.



Old 11-21-19, 03:13 PM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by Josh Z
Netflix's model of continually refreshing its catalog by licensing content from other sources has a big advantage in keeping subscribers interested in staying subscribed.
The problem here is that with Disney, Time Warner and Comcast all entering the streaming world, licensed content will start to become both scarce and expensive. If anything, Netflix has pivoted away from licensed content and put their focus on original content.
Old 11-22-19, 12:10 PM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by rocket1312
The problem here is that with Disney, Time Warner and Comcast all entering the streaming world, licensed content will start to become both scarce and expensive. If anything, Netflix has pivoted away from licensed content and put their focus on original content.
Even so, they're way ahead of Disney on that front.
Old 11-22-19, 11:09 PM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by bruceames
I was referring to predictions back in 2008, after the format war ended. There was a lot of optimism back then. Anyway, nice prediction.
I'm sure many folks were optimistic about bluray in those days. If for no other reason than being the "shiny new thing" that was superior to dvd and hd-dvd in technical specs.

In those days, I was largely watching from the sidelines. All the hype and propaganda / advocacy at the time seemed very overwhelming, that it was able to largely drown out the detractors and cynics. At the time it wasn't easy to find pessimistic assesments of bluray, other than simplistic complaints like bluray doesn't look much better than upscaled dvd, etc ...
Old 11-23-19, 12:16 AM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

It's interesting to ponder how the DVD/BD market would have evolved without Netflix around. Netflix more than any other company hastened the decline of physical media when they started heavily pushing monthly streaming. The studios would have eventually done it themselves but were clearly pushed in that direction faster than anticipated by Netflix's rise.

Apple's war on optical media certainly didn't help things.
Old 11-23-19, 03:20 AM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

It's death by a thousand cuts at this point. The nearly complete elimination of optical disc players in laptops/desktops, the ascendency of mobile with tablets and ubiquitous smartphones, the popularity of YouTube, and the introduction of Netflix streaming. What I think will really do damage to physical discs is the proliferation of streaming services.

There's going to be seven or eight major streaming services and I think each of them will find success.

Netflix
HBO Max
Disney+ / Hulu with ads
Amazon Prime Video
Apple TV+
Peacock
CBS All-Access

Apple is able to practically give Apple TV+ away and is considering a bundle with Music, Prime Video is a feature of the Amazon Prime bundle, Disney+ will be popular with families and the Hulu/Disney+/ESPN bundle will likely have a lot of takers, HBO Max already has brand cache and is going to offer a cheaper tier with ads in 2021, Peacock is considering going free with ads for everyone (+ paid no ads tier), CBS is in the process of merging with Viacom and will have access to the Paramount library, and of course Netflix is already firmly established.

Already Netflix has 158.3 million subscribers globally, HBO Now has 8 million subscribers (HBO Max will be better), Hulu has 28 million subscribers, Amazon Prime Video has over 50 million subscribers in the US alone, CBS All-Access has 8 million subscribers, Apple has said their debut shows have received "millions" of views, and Disney+ have said they had 10 million subscribers in the first day.

It looks like people will be subscribing to 2 or 3 services and it will be a different mix for different people. Once everyone is doing this, you'll see more and more content exclusive to these services (and never getting physical releases) and you'll see it become very difficult for people to justify buying a blu-ray for $20 when they are already paying something like $35-40 a month for literally thousands of movies and tv shows. And this is without even considering YouTube, any free ad-based services, or the niche enthusiast services (like Criterion Channel or Shudder).

I have a feeling the next 10 years are going to be a blood bath for discs.
Old 11-23-19, 06:15 AM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

It's my opinion that where we are now is where we'll stay.

New movies. There are so many options available now that the only reason someone buys a physical disc is because that is what they prefer above all possible options. If someone drops out it's because their interest in physical media is temporary/casual.

Catalog titles. Where we're at is where we'll stay. A niche market for collectors. Those who blind buy old titles on disc to see them are still collectors and want the disc. If they just wanted to see the movie they wouldn't be doing it through boutique labels like Criterion, Shout, Kino, etc.
Old 11-23-19, 08:44 AM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by WeeBey
It's death by a thousand cuts at this point.
I agree.

The only way to reverse this is if there's a retro revival for dvd/bluray, similar to vinyl records in recent years.
Old 11-23-19, 09:02 AM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by PhantomStranger
It's interesting to ponder how the DVD/BD market would have evolved without Netflix around.
A better "what if?" starting point is to examine what could have happened if the internet never became popular, and remained a slow dialup text-based niche for hardcore computer nerds.

From what I've read about the developement of the dvd spec during the mid 1990s, I get the impression they were not thinking of the internet at all. So most likely dvd would have happened anyways, even without the internet.

Hard to say anything precise about bluray, in the absence of a ubiquitous internet. The only thing which would be definitive, is that the disputes over the patents for blue lasers would have to be settled before any bluray (or hd-dvd) format could be designed properly. (These patent disputes go back to the 1990s). IIRC in our reality, the blue laser patents were not settled until sometime in 2003 or 2004.

Old 11-23-19, 09:35 AM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by morriscroy
I agree.

The only way to reverse this is if there's a retro revival for dvd/bluray, similar to vinyl records in recent years.
I don't know. I wouldn't go as far as to say that disc will need the same kind of retro revival as vinyl to survive.
Old 11-23-19, 09:39 AM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by WeeBey
It's death by a thousand cuts at this point. The nearly complete elimination of optical disc players in laptops/desktops, the ascendency of mobile with tablets and ubiquitous smartphones, the popularity of YouTube, and the introduction of Netflix streaming. What I think will really do damage to physical discs is the proliferation of streaming services.

There's going to be seven or eight major streaming services and I think each of them will find success.

Netflix
HBO Max
Disney+ / Hulu with ads
Amazon Prime Video
Apple TV+
Peacock
CBS All-Access

Apple is able to practically give Apple TV+ away and is considering a bundle with Music, Prime Video is a feature of the Amazon Prime bundle, Disney+ will be popular with families and the Hulu/Disney+/ESPN bundle will likely have a lot of takers, HBO Max already has brand cache and is going to offer a cheaper tier with ads in 2021, Peacock is considering going free with ads for everyone (+ paid no ads tier), CBS is in the process of merging with Viacom and will have access to the Paramount library, and of course Netflix is already firmly established.

Already Netflix has 158.3 million subscribers globally, HBO Now has 8 million subscribers (HBO Max will be better), Hulu has 28 million subscribers, Amazon Prime Video has over 50 million subscribers in the US alone, CBS All-Access has 8 million subscribers, Apple has said their debut shows have received "millions" of views, and Disney+ have said they had 10 million subscribers in the first day.

It looks like people will be subscribing to 2 or 3 services and it will be a different mix for different people. Once everyone is doing this, you'll see more and more content exclusive to these services (and never getting physical releases) and you'll see it become very difficult for people to justify buying a blu-ray for $20 when they are already paying something like $35-40 a month for literally thousands of movies and tv shows. And this is without even considering YouTube, any free ad-based services, or the niche enthusiast services (like Criterion Channel or Shudder).

I have a feeling the next 10 years are going to be a blood bath for discs.
Having so many streaming providers is a double-edged sword. How many are going to sign up for all of them to get access to all the movies out there? Having one or two providers where the studios licensed their content to them was better for the consumer. Now you'll have each studio with their own streaming service with their own movies and exclusive content and you won't find it anywhere else. Except disc of course.

You can add WarnerMedia to the list as well, and other studios will surely follow, pulling their licensed content from other providers along the way as the contracts expire.
Old 11-23-19, 11:36 AM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Physical media will always have a market with the older population who are often overwhelmed with evolving technologies. There's a simplicity to the disc format that remains attractive.

For many it's daunting to have to sign-up for several different sites, constantly having to keep track of payments/credit card bills, remembering new password combinations etc. From a non-savvy perspective there's fear of scams or inadvertently altering or screwing up their familiar and trusted computer settings.

For the older crowd discs are seen as safe, secure, predictable and user-friendly.
Old 11-23-19, 02:24 PM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by orangerunner
Physical media will always have a market with the older population who are often overwhelmed with evolving technologies. There's a simplicity to the disc format that remains attractive.

For many it's daunting to have to sign-up for several different sites, constantly having to keep track of payments/credit card bills, remembering new password combinations etc. From a non-savvy perspective there's fear of scams or inadvertently altering or screwing up their familiar and trusted computer settings.

For the older crowd discs are seen as safe, secure, predictable and user-friendly.
This might be the case for older genXers and boomers (and older).

This might not be the case for GenY and subsequent.

Once the older generations die off, is there still a large enough customer base for discs? (ie. Besides the retro market).
Old 11-23-19, 04:17 PM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by bruceames
Having so many streaming providers is a double-edged sword. How many are going to sign up for all of them to get access to all the movies out there? Having one or two providers where the studios licensed their content to them was better for the consumer. Now you'll have each studio with their own streaming service with their own movies and exclusive content and you won't find it anywhere else. Except disc of course.
It'll still be cheaper and more convenient than buying discs.
Old 11-23-19, 04:29 PM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by morriscroy
The only way to reverse this is if there's a retro revival for dvd/bluray, similar to vinyl records in recent years.
You can't compare vinyl to DVD/BD.

Vinyl had a sense of romantic nostalgia to it... where you were more "intimate" with it by requiring you to get more involved to put on a song, turn the record over, etc. - which is a welcomed inconvenience.
Plus it offered large artwork and had a warmer analog sound quality.

DVD/BD is still digital and has no sense of nostalgia or romance to it - only an unwanted inconvenience.

With that said, as much as people keep touting the revival of vinyl - it's still a very tiny fraction of the music buying market.
Old 11-23-19, 04:32 PM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by Coral
It'll still be cheaper and more convenient than buying discs.
True, but cheaper and more convenient were never selling points for discs anyway.
Old 11-23-19, 04:51 PM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by bruceames
True, but cheaper and more convenient were never selling points for discs anyway.
Cheaper no. Convenient yes. During the hey gay of DVD, purchasing was supplanting renting. People would pick up a DVD while in a store instead of making a stop at the video store to rent. Pallet displays were put in the main aisles and by checkouts because people would walk by and say, "Let's get this to watch tonight". People were buying physical DVDs as a disposable product.
Old 11-23-19, 05:42 PM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by rw2516
Cheaper no. Convenient yes. During the hey gay of DVD, purchasing was supplanting renting. People would pick up a DVD while in a store instead of making a stop at the video store to rent. Pallet displays were put in the main aisles and by checkouts because people would walk by and say, "Let's get this to watch tonight". People were buying physical DVDs as a disposable product.
Yes, during DVD's early days and heyday, and until streaming became popular. I should have qualified my comment with that. But obviously streaming is more convenient and cheaper if it's on a subscription service (or available as an online rental or digital purchase). Otherwise disc of course is the way to go if that's the only way to see it.

Disc has its selling points that subscription streaming will never compete with, so I'm not worried about streaming taking over the entertainment world while everything else up and dies. Disc (or physical) will always have its own niche.
Old 11-23-19, 08:35 PM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by rw2516
Cheaper no. Convenient yes. During the hey gay of DVD, purchasing was supplanting renting. People would pick up a DVD while in a store instead of making a stop at the video store to rent. Pallet displays were put in the main aisles and by checkouts because people would walk by and say, "Let's get this to watch tonight". People were buying physical DVDs as a disposable product.
The consumer mind-set can be difficult to gauge sometimes. I tend to think people's DVD buying habits were just an extension of their CD buying habits; "$15.99 for an audio-only CD, so why not a full-length film with tonnes of extras for $24.95?" After a while people realized they had a lot of unwanted crap.

When the Netflix model came along it made perfect sense. For $8/month it was cheap and you could rent as many titles as you wanted and never have to be responsible for returning them or dealing with late fees.
Old 11-23-19, 09:25 PM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by orangerunner
The consumer mind-set can be difficult to gauge sometimes. I tend to think people's DVD buying habits were just an extension of their CD buying habits; "$15.99 for an audio-only CD, so why not a full-length film with tonnes of extras for $24.95?" After a while people realized they had a lot of unwanted crap.
Now that you mentioned it. This was exactly how I was thinking of relative pricing for dvds in the late 1990s, by comparing it to the then-current price of music cds and prerecorded vhs tapes.
Old 11-23-19, 09:28 PM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

In those days circa 1990s, the only time I ever came across stuff like $5 cds (or cdroms) were at flea markets or semi-illicit stores in chinatown.
Old 11-24-19, 05:44 AM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Originally Posted by orangerunner
The consumer mind-set can be difficult to gauge sometimes. I tend to think people's DVD buying habits were just an extension of their CD buying habits; "$15.99 for an audio-only CD, so why not a full-length film with tonnes of extras for $24.95?" After a while people realized they had a lot of unwanted crap.

When the Netflix model came along it made perfect sense. For $8/month it was cheap and you could rent as many titles as you wanted and never have to be responsible for returning them or dealing with late fees.
By buying instead of renting you also avoid having to return them. Plus, since you're already in store for something else, you avoid a trip to video store by just buying it to watch since you're right there.
"Honey, you wanna get this to watch tonight?" or "Let's get a movie to watch tonight" and go over to dvd section of store and pick one out and buy it.
Comic books aren't usually considered disposable items but people will buy a stack of comics to read on a plane and throw them in the trash when they get where they're going. Same mind set.
Old 11-24-19, 02:53 PM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Not having to rewind was touted as a "convenience" feature also, but I already had that with laserdisc.
Old 11-25-19, 01:52 AM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

I think most/all entertainment is becoming more disposable by its nature. The overwhelming amount of content, without the kind of gatekeepers there used to be to keep quality control in check, is pushing almost all entertainment towards disposable status. It's just the nature of the beast in 2019.
Old 11-25-19, 11:16 AM
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Re: Blu-ray and DVD sales - We're number 2, but we try harder

Yeah, back in the mid-'80s, I had a VHS copy of Holy Grail that I wore out because I watched it so much. I did love the movie (still do), but I mostly watched it so much because I didn't really have much else to watch.
These days, I doubt people watch something more than twice, if that.

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