[Videolib] Fox new policy

From: Robert Buckley <robertb626@gmail.com>
Date: Wed Apr 15 2009 - 13:05:30 PDT


I have been following the postings on this new policy and I wanted to offer
some background and offer a suggestion on how to deal with it. I have some
experience dealing with the major studios.

This policy is most likely a reaction to Redbox and other discount
retailers. Redbox rents for $1 a day, and the studio sees no revenue other
than the initial purchase (which is usally about 60% of the opening retail
price, not $8 like someone said). These discounted rentals are taking a
huge bite out of their sales. Another studio, Universal, tried to cut off
Redbox's supply of new movies and got sued in return. Fox is undoubtedly
trying a different approach in the hope that consumers will seek out the
version with all the bells and whistles. As we have seen, this will
probably fail and just piss everyone off. The real issue is whether Fox
will try to get the rental vendors to pay more for the rental version of the
video. The studios can't legally get together and do something like this,
but Fox is probably hoping other studios do the same, then they try to raise
prices. This new policy has nothing to do with saving money, if anything,
keeping two different versions with different covers, etc. is going to cost
them money. It is about preserving their sell-through market.

Here is a suggestion on what to do. Don't organize a boycott, those things
are very difficult to organize and seldom effective. But organize a
petition. I am sure Fox does not want to be known as the studio that made
life difficult for libraries and universities. Get a petition going and get
as many institutions to sign it as possible. Explain why the policy is the
wrong thing to do and ask them to change it. Issue a press release and turn
up the heat a little. Politely suggest to Fox that they make an exemption
for non-profit renters that are not making money at their expense (whether
libraries cost them money is a different story but it is unlikely they want
to take that issue on).

Hope that helps.

Robert Buckley

VIDEOLIB is intended to encourage the broad and lively discussion of issues relating to the selection, evaluation, acquisition,bibliographic control, preservation, and use of current and evolving video formats in libraries and related institutions. It is hoped that the list will serve as an effective working tool for video librarians, as well as a channel of communication between libraries,educational institutions, and video producers and distributors.
Received on Wed Apr 15 13:06:25 2009

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