Warner's Budget Blu-ray Titles
Warner Home Video is making waves in the Blu-ray market place. The deep discounts will start in the fourth quarter of 2008 with attractive price initiatives for retailers. Hopefully, the retailers will pass these point-of-sale rebates along to consumers.
How deep are these deep discounts, and are there any titles we really care about?
In a report in Video Business, titles can be ordered for as low as $11.00. The titles aren't usual bargain bin titles either - The Aviator, Enter the Dragon, The Shining, Clockwork Orange, The Fugitive and more are on the list. Current prices for titles average between $20 and $25, so this gives retailers a reason to attract more viewers to Blu-ray. At least, that's the plan.
Unfortunately, this is a rebate program - retailers pay the full price now but get a rebate once they sell the product. A little cumbersome for retailers, and a few might not want to deal with the extra hassle.
More recent titles, including Ocean's 13, 300, The Departed, I Am Legend, and We Are Marshall will also have rebates, but not for as much money.
In the VB report, one source said, "They are trying to get this software business going. But it's really a double-edged sword. We're happy to be able to offer it, but it can be a slippery slope. Consumers might get in the mindset that they want everything discounted. If that becomes the case, we will shorten the life of Blu-ray just like we did with DVD."
"My first thought is that I like re-pricings because it does provide our customers with a better value, where they can get the same title for less money and enjoy a better margin," says Kirk Kirkpatrick, president of video at wholesaler WaxWorks VideoWorks. However, the studios "are repricing a little quickly on some, but they want to get the fourth quarter going."
One retail executive was less enthusiastic about studio re-pricings in general, blaming them for unnecessarily encouraging customers to delay purchasing. The executive wishes pricing promotions were shorter in duration.
"Customers get in the habit of seeing the price go down and down, and they'll get in the habit of waiting longer to buy," the executive explained. "If you can do something that is very short-term, that will give customers a reason to buy."
A cheaper initial price seems like a good deal for everyone, as opposed to repricing after a certain period of time has passed. What do you think? -Leslie Shapiro
Via Video Business
Image from The Shining courtesy of Amazon.com