I seem to be causing some controversy on some of the deals relating to my opinion on DVD pricing. In short, there are many deals being posted that I personally don't feel are a good price. I thought it was maybe a good topic for debate.
As I see it, there are roughly 3 levels of pricing for media like DVDs. When it's released it's at a premium price, well above the norm, but available for people who are prepared to pay the price to get their hands on it early.
Then there is the normal price, significantly cheaper than the premium price but often hidden in deals like 3 for 2 but buy 3 for £10. These are subsidised by the publisher and often available in multiple retailers as a result. Retailers still make a profit on these deals, often a good one.
Then there is the clearance price. The retailer over-ordered and needs to shift stock quickly to make way for other stock. A perfect example time is when a special edition is going to be released or something.Sometimes media is even sold at a loss, especially if the box is damaged or soemthing.
A good example of how this works out is Star Wars. Originally released on 4:3 VHS. Then released on VHS widescreen. Then released on DVD. Then release on special edition DVD etc. etc. In between all these deals, the older format can be picked up at somewhere around the 'normal' price.
It's fair to assume that the cost of DVD has no relation to the cost of a movie. Movies are made for theatres and all their production costs are covered there. Any sales on DVD are just a bonus. For this reason all DVDs could and even should be sold at the same retail price, but they aren't. At one snapshot in time, new release DVDs from the likes of Warner were sold at a premium price of around £15. At that same moment, Disney DVD's were sold at prices approaching £20. Why? Because it's Disney and Disney command a premium...because they can as parents are often forced to buy them by their kids. There is no reason Disney DVD should have a higher price. Even their 3 for 2 deals are higher as the price for 2 of the Disney discs is massively higher than 2 from other publishers.
Now we have the introduction of Blu-ray which, without argument, is a better product than DVD. Ignoring the frequent other extras, you have better quality video and sound. As a result, these cost more than DVD and likely always will.
As I see it, the Tesco 'premium' price for a Blu-ray disc is about £20. Online, Blu-rays can easily be found for around £15 per movie. In the frequent 3 for 2 or 3 for £30 deals you're effectively getting each movie for around £10.
Blu-ray is a hot property right now, just take a look at how much shelf space it's expending into at your local retailer. They're re-releasing old movies on Blu-ray and, initially at least, charging a serious premium price. They soon go into 3 for 2 deals however and then you'll be paying around £10 per movie...what I will declare as the 'normal' price for Blu-ray.
If the normal price for Blu-ray is £10, then any DVD at or above that price is over-priced. It's only fair to expect a DVD to cost less than a Blu-ray regardless of content. A quick look at play.com shows that new release movies are now priced up at £9.99 - examples include Wanted, The Mist and Sex & The City. They can claim the RRP of Sex & The City is £22.99 as much as they like, no way in the world did anybody pay this. So, using our examples, £9.99 is the current premium price for movies on DVD. This links well with my hypothesis of any DVD at or above £10 being over-priced.
Looking around further at play.com, we see reduced DVDs that are no longer new releases. Titles like Spider-Man 3 and Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium are now going for £4.99. This is the new normal price for DVDs. It's fair to expect any DVD release to hit this £5 level after a few months of release.
It looks like there has never been a better time to buy DVDs. With everything swiftly moving over to Blu-ray, the publishers are shifting warehouses full of back catalogue DVDs at a giveaway price. They're slashing an unbelievable amount of DVD box sets for TV shows and other titles, because they know it's a time limited format and it's their last chance to make serious money on the DVD.
A perfect example is Disney again. They introduce deals like the "Buy one get one free" on play.com and it looks like a good deal. But these are £14.99 a disc for very old movies....that's not a good deal. New movies are coming out for £9.99, older movies are going for £4.99. How can £14.99 be a good deal for a disc? It's not. They just know it's the last Christmas to juice the last out of most of these titles before the Blu-ray releases.
These are nothing like the deals you can expect to see in the New Year. Once Christmas is done, I expect to see retailers sat on a pile of unsold DVDs with a pending Blu-ray release. They will need to shift them quick. The publishers will want to make their last few quid before the format starts taking it's last breaths.
A perfect example of all this is The Shawshank Redemption. It did it's VHS release. It did it's widescreen VHS release. It did it's DVD release, amazingly still in 4:3. It did it's widescreen DVD release...and now it's out on Blu-ray.
It's been at it's premium Blu-ray £20 price in Tesco and it's on play.com for £13.99. But what happened to the DVD after this? Answer - £2.49 http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/1983/The-Shawshank-Redemption/Product.html
£2.49 for what has been voted in countless polls as the greatest movie of all time. This is actually cheaper than renting it in some places. This is a hot deal, it can only be.
So, what do you regard as a good price for DVD and why?