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

From: <ghandman@library.berkeley.edu>
Date: Fri Nov 13 2009 - 10:22:27 PST

I dunno...seems like we're totally losing track of what libraries are
supposed to be and what they're chartered to do. There seems to be
confusion between short-term/specific need and long-term mission. I
realize that different libraries have different collection development and
service missions (depending on the nature, size, history of the
institution). That doesn't obviate the fact that spending money on
ephemeral, short-term access for the benefit of specific courses is a real
slippery slope.

As for vendors offering the option of individual download and/or
stream...sure why not. Do it for well under twenty bucks a semester and
it'll fly. Do it for more and they're stay away in droves or rip you off
blind.

gary

> Gary, they are going to call YOU or me or some other institution that
> spent money collecting CONTENT instead of spending money for streaming
> rights when that cost could be spread out among students easily. We talk
> about convenience of access all the time (especially in regard to the
> vendors who will happily convert your collection for you and stream it to
> dorm rooms, because hey, that's a learning environment similar to a
> classroom so it must be face-to-face, right??).
>
> If the vendors can give the OPTION for students to pay for streaming for a
> semester, then we don't have to worry about streaming rights, hosting the
> digital content, etc. We can concentrate our budgets on actually buying
> stuff that we will have around for a long time (we hope).
>
> Sarah
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu
> [mailto:videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of
> ghandman@library.berkeley.edu
> Sent: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 8:52 PM
> To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
> Subject: Re: [Videolib] A meditation on indie vdeo pricing in an age of
> fiscalapocalypse
>
> 10 years from now, when a scholar wants to access that Icarus title...who
> they gonna call?
>
> gary
>
>
>> I love the idea of the student paying $2.99 for a semester of streamed
>> access. It leaves our collection budgets for, well, collecting, and
>> provides a revenue stream for NewDay, Icarus, Bullfrog, Newsreel, etc.,
>> etc., etc. I think students would rather pay $2.99 than have to come
>> to
>> the library to watch a movie. Every time I say this someone shoots it
>> down, but I really wish more distributors would go with a pay-per-stream
>> model, where we can pass that cost along to the student and use our
>> money
>> for content (rather than access).
>>
>> Sarah @ Hofstra
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu
>> [mailto:videolib-bounces@lists.berkeley.edu] On Behalf Of Jonathan
>> Miller
>> Sent: Wednesday, November 11, 2009 4:57 PM
>> To: videolib@lists.berkeley.edu
>> Subject: Re: [Videolib] A meditation on indie vdeo pricing in an age of
>> fiscalapocalypse
>>
>> 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.
>>
>>
>>
>> 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.
Received on Fri Nov 13 10:22:59 2009

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