Bill Mechanic Talks About the Decline of DVD Sales

“You can’t flood the market with every TV show, every reality show, and dump your library into the market all at one time

 

 
Producer Bill Mechanic ("Coraline") on the declining DVD market:
 
“You can’t flood the market with every TV show, every reality show, and dump your library into the market all at one time and not have some kind of game plan in terms of pricing.”
 
                                                   
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Q: Looking at the dismal fourth-quarter earnings reports from studios, and at the disappointing DVD figures in particular, how much blame do you place on the economy?
 
A: I think it’s one part recession.
 
Q: How has the economy affected the rollout of high-definition DVDs, which the studios had hoped would off-set the flattening of the DVD market?
 
A: To have to introduce a new product at the worst economic time in the last 50 years probably wasn’t the greatest thing to have happened.
 
Q: How are Blu-ray disks affecting the overall DVD market?
 
A: Studios felt like Blu-ray was going to be the next panacea, and so they dumped the prices (of traditional DVDs) and devalued the product. That’s a misreading of consumer behavior as well as a misreading of the economic environment
 
It’s devalued the libraries. If you can buy "Titanic" for $4.99 versus $19.99 for a new, but lesser, movie on Blu-Ray, consumers will say, "Well, wait a minute…" There’s no rhyme or reason of what I see in the marketplace in terms of pricing.
 
Q: What other advice do you have for studios in regards to the DVD crisis?
 
A: I would just say, better management of their own libraries. You can’t flood the market with every TV show, every reality show, and dump your library into the market all at one time and not have some kind of game plan in terms of pricing.
 
Q: What do you consider the other leading factors leading to this crisis?
 
A: People started saturating their libraries. They had enough titles. All the avid collectors will keep going, and paying the prices (but that’s not the majority of consumers).
 
Q; Is there any good news?
 
A: The good movies that people want to keep are probably creating their value more than anything else. "Iron Man" was a big seller, so was "Kung Fu Panda."