Re: [Videolib] A meditation on indie vdeo pricing in an age of fiscalapocalypse

From: Jessica Rosner <maddux2014@gmail.com>
Date: Thu Nov 12 2009 - 06:22:42 PST

Unfortunately Gary almost all public libraries think anything over $20 is
too much and many of them are locked into dealing only with approved
wholesalers. Since the vast majority of the public library market will
basically never buy small documentaries the way they buy popular
entertainment films, filmmakers by necessity charge higher prices to
survive. Like I said it was my FANTASY that public libraries would buy these
films which would actually enable them to be sold at much lower prices. If
anyone out there has the magic formula for how small documentary films could
sell ten times as many copies so the prices could lowered to retail level I
am anxious to hear it.

On Thu, Nov 12, 2009 at 12:26 AM, <ghandman@library.berkeley.edu> wrote:

> Don't buy now but would if cheaper...Nah. These would be the libraries
> that think anything over 20 bucks is too much to spend on video.
>
> g
>
>
>
> > But the question really isn't whether you might buy more films (twice
> > as many even tho your budget gets cut?) but whether more people who
> > don't currently buy from us will start doing so, isn't it?
> >
> > Jm
> >
> > Sent from my iPhone
> >
> > On Nov 11, 2009, at 9:04 PM, ghandman@library.berkeley.edu wrote:
> >
> >> Jon:
> >>
> >> You drop your prices to 100 bucks a pop and I guarantee I'll buy more.
> >> Why? It's less risky. Look: 90% of the stuff I buy I buy because I
> >> think that a) it's worthwhile and interesting and enriches my
> >> collection
> >> for the long term b) I can persuade a faculty colleague into using
> >> such
> >> (In a collection as large as mine, fewer and fewer requests come
> >> across
> >> from faculty) I pay 300 bucks and the title gets used zip in ten
> >> years
> >> (happens more than I'd like to admit) I beat myself up. I take a
> >> chance
> >> for 100 bucks--far different thing. The fewer the available bucks,
> >> the
> >> less I'm willing to take risks. Simple as that.
> >>
> >> Gary Handman
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>> Dear video-ists
> >>>
> >>> 1) If amongst say the top 1000 higher=ed media buyers price per se
> >>> was not
> >>> the obstacle to buying important (say the top 25% of released
> >>> titles?)
> >>> documentaries at prices between say $200 and $400,
> >>>
> >>> And now, with reduced budgets there is less ability to continue
> >>> buying
> >>> them
> >>> - overall.
> >>>
> >>> Then, if distributors who formerly sold at $200-$400 were to cut
> >>> prices to
> >>> say $100
> >>>
> >>> Why should we expect any more of those 1000 top buyers to buy 2 > 4
> >>> x as
> >>> many (at least) units? I don't get it. If I sold 200 units at $300
> >>> = $
> >>> 60,000 / now I am going to release the same films for say $150 -
> >>> will now
> >>> 400 colleges buy that same title? And even if they do, I am still
> >>> behind
> >>> (higher costs, more work).
> >>>
> >>> 2) How many of you are using or getting your profs/students to use
> >>> services
> >>> such as
> >>>
> >>> A) Amazon VOD
> >>> B) New Day VOD
> >>>
> >>> Could we get say 30,000 students to pay $2 each for say our recent
> >>> release
> >>> on the mortgage crisis WE ALL FALL DOWN? (if we stream it ourselves
> >>> and
> >>> keep
> >>> all the money, less the 3% credit card fee!) or 70,000 students (!)
> >>> if it
> >>> is
> >>> done thru a 3rd party service like Amazon?
> >>>
> >>> 3) Is Alexander Street's model a good substitute for you? Would you
> >>> like
> >>> to
> >>> move in that direction?
> >>>
> >>> Perhaps, Gary et al, you can give us some specific commentary on
> >>> which
> >>> companies / policies that you see starting to emerge do you think
> >>> might
> >>> work? What are some companies doing right (Strategically) as you
> >>> see it?
> >>> What companies are moving in the wrong direction, and why.
> >>>
> >>> Otherwise, apart from closing up shop, I am not sure what you are
> >>> suggesting
> >>> we (distributors/ producers) do.
> >>>
> >>> Is that too harsh?
> >>>
> >>> JM
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> Jonathan Miller
> >>> President
> >>> Icarus Films
> >>> 32 Court Street, 21st Floor
> >>> Brooklyn, NY 11201 USA
> >>>
> >>> tel 1.718.488.8900
> >>> fax 1.718.488.8642
> >>> www.IcarusFilms.com
> >>> jmiller@IcarusFilms.com
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> -----Original Message-----
> >>> From: videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu
> >>> [mailto:videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of
> >>> ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
> >>> Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 6:35 PM
> >>> To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
> >>> Subject: [Videolib] A meditation on indie vdeo pricing in an age of
> >>> fiscalapocalypse
> >>>
> >>> Hi all
> >>>
> >>> I've been mulling over the spate of recent posts re tiered pricing,
> >>> etc.
> >>> Mulling and stewing (sorta sounds like holiday dinner, don't it?)
> >>> In any
> >>> case, I had a long and rambling post all ready to go yesterday, then
> >>> pulled
> >>> my punches, went home, had a drink, slept on it, and now I think
> >>> I'm ready
> >>> to put this out again for discussion.
> >>>
> >>> Over the course of the 25 years or so I've been doing this job, I've
> >>> consistently stood firmly and vocally behind the pricing structures
> >>> (including tiered pricing) of our friends in indie filmmaking and
> >>> film
> >>> distribution--the $200 to $400 sticker prices that have become
> >>> common for
> >>> the purchase of their wares by higher ed institutions. Like my
> >>> colleagues
> >>> in other libraries, I've paid these prices because, well, to quote
> >>> Woody
> >>> Allen, "We need the eggs." In other words, my colleagues and I have
> >>> coughed
> >>> up because: a) we understand the fiscal travails and the slim
> >>> profits of
> >>> indie film distribution b) we esteem the films being sold in this
> >>> market
> >>> and realize that diverse collections depend on the vitality of the
> >>> makers
> >>> and distributors of this stuff c) we've had budgets which, to a
> >>> greater or
> >>> lesser extent, have afforded us the luxury of buying non-mass
> >>> marketed
> >>> titles.
> >>>
> >>> Fast forward to 2009...Not to beat an already hemorrhaging horse,
> >>> but, for
> >>> those of us in higher ed, the woods are burning, and (to mix
> >>> metaphors
> >>> shamelessly) the center can no longer hold (things, in other words,
> >>> are
> >>> falling apart). My budget this year took a 25% cut; I no longer
> >>> have a
> >>> supplies and equipment budget of any kind (not to mention the fact
> >>> that
> >>> I've
> >>> been furloughed for 21 days). We've been promised that next year
> >>> will be
> >>> even worse. Now, California is an extreme case (as always), but not
> >>> totally
> >>> unique, by any means. I think that most of my colleagues in academic
> >>> libraries are in roughly the same position in terms of dwindling
> >>> collection
> >>> budgets...
> >>>
> >>> In this fiscal climate, it seems to me that survival on both the
> >>> buyer and
> >>> seller ends of things is going to require some serious rethinking
> >>> of the
> >>> pricing and marketing models that have been in place since the
> >>> inception
> >>> of
> >>> home video technologies. The "all-the-particular-market-will-bear"
> >>> strategy may very well be a coffin nail for indie distributors in the
> >>> future.
> >>>
> >>> I have most definitely had to think twice about buying the kinds of
> >>> stuff
> >>> that I wouldn't have blinked about buying in the past...and, as
> >>> much as it
> >>> pains me to the quick to have to bargain shop, home video is
> >>> looking more
> >>> and more attractive. Again...I think we're definitely not in
> >>> business as
> >>> usual territory any longer, Toto. As stewards of strapped
> >>> collection
> >>> budgets, I think we're all forced to be more hard-nosed and realistic
> >>> about
> >>> the relative short- and long-term value of what we're buying for
> >>> these
> >>> collections.
> >>>
> >>> It occurs to me that a number of distributors I know out there
> >>> have, in
> >>> fact, recranked prices, sought out home video markets, tried other
> >>> pricing
> >>> structures. It's obvious to me, in any case, that historical models
> >>> just
> >>> don't cut it in a lot of ways. Is it justifiable to charge $300
> >>> for a
> >>> title
> >>> that's been in a distributor's catalog for 10 years...I personally
> >>> think
> >>> not. In this climate, am I justified in buying $300-a-pop
> >>> materials "just
> >>> in case" they may be used by teachers and scholars sometime down the
> >>> road...I'm no longer sure. Can I continue to simply grin and bear
> >>> the
> >>> fact that public libraries are charged a third of what I pay,
> >>> particularly
> >>> when this pricing is built almost exclusively on the perception
> >>> that I
> >>> have
> >>> the dough and they don't...well, no, I can't.
> >>>
> >>> I find it really odious to have to bring this stuff up. I am an
> >>> enormous
> >>> fan of the distributors that I deal with daily and want to see them
> >>> live
> >>> long and prosper... On the other hand...
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> Gary Handman
> >>> Director
> >>> Media Resources Center
> >>> Moffitt Library
> >>> UC Berkeley
> >>>
> >>> 510-643-8566
> >>> ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
> >>> http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC
> >>>
> >>> "I have always preferred the reflection of life to life itself."
> >>> --Francois Truffaut
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> 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.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> 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.
> >>>
> >>
> >>
> >> Gary Handman
> >> Director
> >> Media Resources Center
> >> Moffitt Library
> >> UC Berkeley
> >>
> >> 510-643-8566
> >> ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
> >> http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC
> >>
> >> "I have always preferred the reflection of life to life itself."
> >> --Francois Truffaut
> >>
> >>
> >> 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.
> >
> > 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.
> >
>
>
> Gary Handman
> Director
> Media Resources Center
> Moffitt Library
> UC Berkeley
>
> 510-643-8566
> ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
> http://www.lib.berkeley.edu/MRC
>
> "I have always preferred the reflection of life to life itself."
> --Francois Truffaut
>
>
> 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.
>

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 Thu Nov 12 06:22:59 2009

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