Re: Query: Average cost of academic videos?

Gary Handman (
Tue, 15 Dec 1998 15:29:35 -0800 (PST)

There's no nice, tidy list, Barbara...but here is a ballpark set of figures
based on our experience
(others chime in, please)

Videos from independent distributors (i.e. non-theatrical stuff from the
likes of Women Make Movies, First Run/Icarus, Cinema Guild, Filmmakers
Libary): anywhere from $150 to $400
for a 30-60 minute piece (altho no one in his right mind should ever pay
the high end without first
doing some stiff dickering...)

Mass market stuff (including home video from PBS) ...anywhere from 20 to 50
bucks per title
(PBS home video charges as much as 100 bucks for multi-volume sets...)

Association and institutional productions can vary widely: eg the American
Mathematical Society's tapes hover around 80 bucks a pop. The American
Psychological Association's stuff is
more expensive (I guess shrinks have more to spend than mathematicians?)

Films produced for the business community or corporate users tend to be
obscenely expensive...reflecting all the market will bear: not uncommon
for such stuff to cost in the high hundreds to $1000s.

Feature films (the movies): $15-20 for second run (older stuff); $60-80
for first run.

Breaking costs down by academic department is completely useless: it all
depends on the specific needs of curricula, the film-saavy of faculty, the
presence of a video librarian on campus (always the plug, eh?) and other
stuff...including whether the department or the library is picking up the

I'm sure others out there in academe have other takes...

>I have been asked to try to find an average cost of videos purchased by
>universities, preferably broken down according academic departments.
>Do you know of any such list?
>Even one you've created for your library would be useful.
>Barbara J. Bergman Porter Henderson Library
>Media Librarian Angelo State University
>ph: (915) 942-2313 Box 11013, ASU Station
>fax: (915) 942-2198 San Angelo, TX 76909

Gary Handman
Media Resources Center
Moffitt Library
UC Berkeley, CA 94720-6000

"You are looking into the mind of home video. It is innocent, it is aimless,
it is determined, it is real" --Don DeLillo, Underworld