I own a couple of concert and TV series, but I don’t buy DVDs of movies. My criteria is simple: will I be able to rent this DVD? If so, I’m unlikely to buy it. There’s nothing wrong with buying them (Lord knows I’ve assembled more than my fair share of other media), but it’s not my bag.
Recently, I quoted an article, saying that in 2004 that DVD sales amounted to $15 billion, while box office receipts were $9.4 billion. That got me thinking. Of all the people buying those (roughly) 900 million DVDs, how many had already seen the movie before they bought the DVD. That is, they’re buying the DVD to watch the movie again. Among my friends, I’d say it’s about 50-50. How about you, my dear DVD-buying readers?
This train of thought rolled out of the station when I wondered out loud “why don’t they just sell DVDs in the cinemas, so that you can buy them as you leave the theatre?” That idea is probably heretical to the industry, but I wonder if it might not prove more profitable in the end?
Let’s assume there are two kinds of DVD buyers–those who see the movies in the cinema, and those who don’t. The people who don’t watch the movie aren’t going to be affected–they’ll just get their DVD sooner. Those who do see the movie probably wouldn’t be too cannabalized–they’re coming for the experience of attending a cinema. Plus, the industry would enjoy a boon of impulse purchases from people leaving the show. More importantly, they could cut a big chunk out of their marketing budget, because they wouldn’t have to spend nearly as much on promoting a separate DVD release six months down the road.