Alex at Complications Ensue makes some interesting points - pro and con - about NBC's recent decision to pull their programs off Itunes and trying to sell them themselves...at a higher price.
Everything he speculates about is the future, or a version thereof, no doubt about it...but for now, most people are still stocking their TV series home collections with the purchase of season set DVD's.
So my question today is this...how much will you pay for the season set DVD's for your fav TV series? And then a followup - how much will you pay to try out a TV series you've only heard good things about?
What's the price of TV on DVD entertainment?
I ask only because I bought some series on DVD this weekend, and was truly surprised at the wide variance in cost. This was depending on the TV show of course, but still...
Friday Night Lights first season was on sale for 28.99 (Cdn.). That's 22 one hour episodes for less than thirty bucks. These days, thirty bucks only gets you a discounted new release novel, or movie and popcorn for two (you'd have to split a soda pop), or perhaps a couple of music cd's.
How could I say no? And there's a bonus. I only watched about a third of the FNL episodes last year, and while I enjoyed them it just never really caught fire with me. Now I can enjoy it in its entirety and at my convenience on my big screen telly. Cool.
But on the shelves right beside FNL were the first season discs of Heroes and Ugly Betty. Both 22 episode sets were on sale for around 50.00 (Cdn.). I thought about it, but gave them a pass. Ugly Betty isn't on my radar and I saw most all of Heroes already...and the price, while on sale, was just high enough to give me pause.
Why such a price difference? I mean, we know the studios are making money on the sale no matter which price they list at, it's just a question of how much. Because right beside the Heroes and Ugly Betty sets were the second season of Rome and third season of Deadwood, both HBO offerings. And both were priced at nearly a hundred bucks (Cdn.) each...and that's only for 10 and 12 episodes respectfully! I know it's not just about quantity (yes, quality should be a consideration), but still....holy gouging, Batman!
I know value and perceived value are flexible terms...and if that's what people will pay, then that's what it's worth --- but when is too much too much? (I still can't believe I can't find seasons 1 and 2 of Lost for anything less than 65.00 per...)
Perhaps NBC/Universal is selling FNL at a loss or break even in order to try to rope in more viewers (it was on the bubble for cancellation last season), but nevertheless...I really liked that price. Same goes for the first three seasons of The X Files and all the seasons of Buffy and Angel --- all recently marked down to around or under 25.00 (Cdn.) each. I didn't feel bad purchasing the first 2 seasons of each...you know, just to have...watch for old times sake...show the kids when they get old enough sort of thing.
And Peter makes a good comment about the extras and commentaries available on most DVD series sets.
So back to Alex's post, a season (depending on how many episodes) of a series downloaded off of Itunes could cost you between 20.00 and 40.00. NBC/Uni is looking to ask 5.00 per episode (I'm not sure if that's Cdn. or U.S. dollars)...so a season of Heroes, say, could run you upwards of a 100.00.
And if I won't even consider paying that for an HBO series, well...
UPDATE: Shawna sends me this Hollywood Reporter story hot off the presses that states NBC/Uni shows will be made available on Amazon/Unbox for...1.99 an episode.
Ah the internets...amazing things aren't they.