It’s such an inspiring thing to see the great minds of this business aim their collective intellect towards our industry’s pressing problems, such as the fact that DVD sales are about as robust as the US soccer team.
How does top News Corp. muckity muck Peter Chernin explain the slump to some indifferent journalists last afternoon at the Deutsche Bank Media Conference at the Miramar in Santa Monica? It’s the content, stupid, according to Variety.
On the softening DVD market, he said, “Marginal titles and marginal catalog aren’t performing well, and I guess that’s the way life is going to be.”
But he said he’s pleased with Fox’s video lineup and its distribution prowess. MGM recently pulled the plug on its distribution deal with part-owner Sony to pact with Fox.
Have you seen the DVDs that people buy? A glance at the Amazon Top 10 DVD list http://www.clrsoftware.com/top10dvds/ shows such titles as Cheaper By the Dozen 2, Westlemania 22, and Big Momma’s House 2. People would buy Perrier commercial if they compiled them on to disk and slapped a couple of 2’s on there.
Marginal titles aren’t killing DVD’s: they’re keeping the revenue stream vibrant. It’s the disk that’s the problem: since DVR and streaming video, people simply don’t trust that the format is going to stick around long enough to make purchasing, say, the first two season’s of Small Miracle a worthwhile investment.
So what is Chernin’s solution?
New high-definition DVDs will help, although “I think it would be nice if we were smart enough to get one format, which, clearly, we’re not,” he added.
He expects consumers to start buying new DVD releases on high-def and replace three to five of their favorite library movies a year.
That makes sense: People don’t trust their format, so let’s give them more formats, and hope that in the confusion, we some how make out. And then let’s crack jokes about it a we watch this revenue stream evaporate. I mean who wouldnâ€™t want to go into a foxhole with that guy?