Sunday, October 28, 2012
WHO KILLED THE DVD?
There has been a murder.
The DVD lies dead in the library, with a blunt force trauma wound to the head.
The culprits are lined up.
No-one saw the murder happen.
But one of the assembled here is the murderer.
Was it Netflix and other online distribution platforms that made it easy for people to get their films and television online?
Was it piracy?
Was it the retailers who charged too high a price for the DVD's themselves?
Was it the public, who stopped buying DVDs; preferring BluRays and online video?
Was it colonel mustard in the library with the candlestick?
If you didn't understand that last one, or any of the above, you are under 25 years old. Google 'Cluedo'.
Back to the murder, NO, it was none of these suspects.
The murderer is none other than....
Yes, that's right, the ones who actually make the films and TV shows.
Preposterous, you say! Why would they kill the very thing that has made them so much money?
It is very simple. They did it by accident.
You see, viewing preferences have changed. Once, people would watch a TV show ONE EPISODE at a time on television. This was the norm for a very long time.
And then, DVDs arrived. Suddenly, the idea of a DIY '(insert beloved TV show name here) marathon' was created. Audiences, alone or in groups, could watch entire series' of their favourite shows in mammoth, multi-hour sessions.
Marathons already existed, of course, but only at the whim of the television stations. Now, you could have a marathon of YOUR favourite show, when YOU wanted.
And believe it or not, people have now developed an appetite for watching their favourite programs on their terms.
Hence why audiences have become less patient waiting for new episodes. They want it now!
And so the studios, seeing this as a perfect opportunity to make MORE money, started producing countless DVDs of TV shows. Season after season of your favourites became available in a few small discs at your local DVD retailer.
And people bought them, in droves, to watch at their convenience in the comfort of their own homes.
But then, online video arrived. Suddenly, audiences didn't need to even go the DVD store anymore!
They could stay in, watch on their own terms, and stop filling up their shelves with DVD packages.
"But what about DVD's?", the studios said.
"We don't need DVD's anymore." the audience replied, "we have streaming via the internet."
And that is where we are now.
Yes, DVD's are on the way out.
Their sales have been steadily declining for a while now.
But don't take my word for it:
And no matter how much they blame everyone else, it was the studios that killed the DVD. In a quest for more money, they changed audience behaviour.
And now internet streaming is the next evolution of the convenience of DVD. Internet streaming is also a much better fit for the new audience behaviour/demand.
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, by the way. It's just new.
And new is always scary, at first.
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