Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A wee rant re: CD and DVD prices

Just a thought: isn't it past time that CD and DVD manufacturers, distributors, and retailers faced up to reality and started LOWERING THEIR BLOODY PRICES, while there are still a few people out there who are willing to buy the things? It's gotten bad enough that it's getting hard to find retailers that even stock them in any quantity - the ongoing industry suicide is so thorough that it's driven most dealers out of business; because as much as the market for digital media has changed over the last ten years, the prices simply haven't. To use a film I'm actually interested in as an example - something I would happily buy if the price were right - Chernobyl Diaries hit the stands just recently, and the lowest price I've seen anywhere is $18.99 for the DVD. Who the hell has that much money to spend, especially knowing that a) the format is three quarters of the way to obsolescence; b) that DVDs no longer have any meaningful resale value; that c) these things are bloody cheap to manufacture; that d) if you wait until a given disc makes its way to used stores or discount bins you'll get it for a half price or less; and that e) with a bit of effort, you can find a torrent of it for free without ever leaving home? And neverminding any of the illegal means of acquiring entertainment, for those still attached to physical media, there's been so much product produced in the last couple of decades that you can entertain yourself pretty well just by scouring thrift stores, where the going rate for a CD or DVD is now between $1 and $3 (double that for Value Village). The speed with which these turn over demonstrates that there are still plenty of customers for physical media, if the prices are low enough; for a further example, observe stores like Zellers or Future Shop, where DVDs priced at $5.99 or less fly off the shelves, while those costing $6.99 or more tend to just sit. If Chernobyl Diaries hit the stands at $5.99 new - if retailers followed the same logic they used to follow for music and START with a low price, rather than a high - it would sell hundreds of thousands of copies across North America in the first week. At $18.99, it's hard for me to believe that it's selling any...  

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