Re: The beginning of the end?

jon aubrey (porkstore@yahoo.com)
Fri, 21 Jun 2002 13:31:45 -0700 (PDT)

Dear dear dvdlibbers and fellow techno-Luddites,
Marketing, marketing, MARKETING! It's all about the
marketing. Oh, and the moolah behind the marketing
too.
New items come out in both VHS and DVD formats, but
the DVD versions are available for purchase, ordering
and shipment before the VHS ones. Now how can this be?
Given that the industry has been manufacturing videos
for years, but has only recently started making DVDs,
this might seem strange. Could it be a simple
marketing ploy to get the new technology purchase
stats up, increase the sales of dvd players and dvds?
"Gee, the kids really want to see Cinderella 5000, but
it's only out in dvd. Well, I guess I better buy me a
dvd player." Why are we so surprised when this kind of
industry-imposed technological turnover happens. The
vinyl to cd migration was not driven by public demand,
it was a calculated scheme on the part of all those
who would profit off the changeover. How many millions
(billions?) are to be made by the mass replacement or
supplementation of VCRs with DVD players, and the
reissuing/second-format-purchasing of DVDs to replace
videos?
My library is located in an upscale town where
people can certainly afford to buy DVD players if they
so desire them. DVD rentals at my library have gone up
somewhat since we introduced them, mostly amongst the
Radio Shack crowd, but video rentals far, far
outnumber them, and that's not just because there are
so many more videos than DVDs in the collection. Most
people have just been waiting around until it was
deemed NECESSARY for everyone to buy a DVD player by,
guess who, Blockbuster, SONY, Circuit City, and
everyone else in the biz who stands to make wads of
dough. I can't tell you how many times I've heard the
words "Oh, it's on dvd? I thought it was a video. I
don't want that, I don't have a dvd player. Could you
cancel that hold and reserve the video version for me
sweetie?" in the last few months. A relatively small
percentage of audiophiles, digiophiles, whatever doth
not a marketing trend make. Are we all gonna wonder
what the heck happened when we're forced to plunk down
$600 or more for digital TVs in the next few years?
"Gee, I didn't see that one coming."
And another thing, I don't know about anyone else
out there, but our circulating cd selection is heavily
defect ridden - scratch produced pops, skips, jumps,
etc. No one has proven to me that dvds won't have the
same defect problems as cds, perhaps more obviously
and annoyingly than video viewing defects ever were.
Will patrons stand for crappy dvd copies? What'll we
do, order that many more dvd replacements? How can
video rental palaces replace all their old videos with
dvds if the dvds are not being produced? How will this
effect availability of titles? Will we see X times as
many queries on this list about where such-and-such a
title can be found?
Okay, I'm spewing. Sorry, just needed to get it off
my chest. I guess it's like Jules Pfeiffer wrote in
"BOOM" all those years ago, "That's how spearmint
chews."

Dying To See Those Extra Scenes On The DVD Of Ishtar,
Jon A.

P.S. - I just heard a rumor today that Blockbuster
will start to totally phase out videos next month.

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