October 10th, 2009


Will Disney’s latest marketing decision change the way DVDs are sold? And what would Walt say?

Imagine visiting your local movie theater to find that the only way to get in is by purchasing a $25 ‘combo’ package which includes an I-MAX ticket for the movie you want to see in addition to the regular ticket you came in for. 


Not only is this ‘combo’ package significantly more expensive than the regular, $15 admission price, but you don’t even have an I-MAX theater near you.


I think most people would agree that whoever came up with such a marketing idea, can’t have thought it through very well. Sad to say, although they haven’t done it with movie tickets, the normally customer-savvy folks over at Disney are trying a similar idea with their latest DVD release.  


As those of you with young children probably know, this week, Disney opened their vault to re-release Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. As usual, the newest version has been tarted up and includes plenty of worthy extras. However, this time, instead of releasing the DVD and Blu-ray versions as separate entities, Disney combined the two discs in a single package. 


So what? 


Well, usually when a new Disney DVD comes out, for the first few days or so you can get it for around $15.99 in places like Target, but this time, presumably because it’s a DVD/Blu-ray combo, the discount price for Snow White is $25. Best Buy also had it on ‘special offer’ for the same price.


Normally, I’d have bought two or three copies (my autistic teenage daughters love the Disney classics, but they tend to scratch DVDs). However, I didn’t buy them this time. 


I’ve no doubt it’s a wonderful home-theater system, but I don’t have Blu-ray, and judging by the ratio of DVD to Blu-ray shelf space in my local stores, nor do a lot of other folks. 


Why should we have to buy the more expensive ‘combo’, when we can’t even play one of the disks?


I suppose some smarty-pants at the company (probably the same genius who decided they’d make more money from their most popular movies by NOT selling them on DVD for years at a time) decided that the costs savings achieved by doing it this way would outweigh the revenue lost from people like me, who decide not to buy the movie at all. 


Maybe that’s true, but big companies also need to keep a healthy balance in their ‘public goodwill’ account, and, at least as far as I’m concerned, this little trick has made a big dent in that.


I wonder what Walt would say.


How about you?


Do you have Blu-ray?


If other companies follow suit with this kind of 'all or nothing' deal, will you pay extra for a combo package like the one above, or will you walk away?






  • Current Mood
    disappointed disappointed

And the winner of the 2009 Graversen Award is... not me, but I made it to the finals.

My short story, The Family Legend, was one of the five stories to make it to the final round of the 2009 GSHW short story competition.

All five were then judged by ellen_datlowand Space & Time Magazine's Hildy Silverman  (aka hildy9595).

Even though I didn't win, I'm still chuffed, in part because this is my first attempt at writing a proper short - as opposed to my usual novels or flash fiction - but mostly to have my work read by such distinguished judges.

Congratulations to this year's winner, Dina Leacock, who took the award and accompanying $100 prize money with her story, Tips.