Friday, September 26, 2008

TV DVDs Taking Over Movies?

I've visited a few retailers over the past little while and noticed something strange: DVD box sets for TV shows are placed front and centre of the store, with new release movies few and far in between. Why?

Are TV shows on DVD becoming more popular? Is this a way to make them more popular in the wake of things like on-demand movies that could be cutting into DVD sales? Or perhaps it's just a sales tactic since the holiday season is slowly creeping up on us? After all, DVD box sets are fairly popular among the gift-giving crowd.

Maybe it's also the result of a lot of successful TV shows coming out of the woodwork, like my favourite Dexter and other popular shows like Mad Men, The Office, and The Sopranos. Many of these are also broadcast on subscription-based networks, so it's likely that a lot of people wait until a series is released on DVD and then watch it that way instead of subscribing to the extra channels for a monthly fee. In fact, a friend of mine the other day told me of plans for a Lost party: he purchased the first two seasons on DVD, and a group of people were going to get together and watch it. It makes sense: you can watch an entire season in an 8-hour or so timeframe, and not have to even bother skipping through commercials because there are none!

Could TV on DVD be becoming yet another new way that people consume entertainment? After all, why wait a week to watch what's going to happen to the guy that Tony supposedly got whacked, or to find out what happens with Mike and Susan on Desperate Housewives? The one drawback to this, of course, is that you can't watch a season until it comes out on DVD, which is often long after the episodes have actually aired. If it's a really popular show, it would be tough to ignore all the media reports and water-cooler conversations that reveal what happens. But if you're able to wait it out, why not?

But back to my original observation. Maybe it's that there haven't been enough Blockbuster movies to warrant a huge new release section. While there have been a handful of popular movie titles as of late (Dark Knight immediately comes to mind), there have also been a lot of box office flops.

Either way, while I have never purchased a DVD box set of any kind for myself (I watch enough live TV as it is!) the rearrangement in store certainly engaged me, so I guess it's working to some degree. I found a few shows that I know won Emmys and considered picking them up to give them a try. Now all we need is Blu-ray TV show box sets, and we're in business!

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1 comment:

Michelle said...

I think TV programs on DVD are becoming more and more popular because, as you say they are on demand so you can watch them wherever or whenever you want to, and of course have the facilities to pause, stop, rewind etc.

I never brought many DVDs until the last 6 months and then found that Woolworths were doing DVDs for £2! Ok they aren't the greatest DVDs but even the top titles are at a decent price inlcuding TV series box sets.

So if there is anything that I want to buy I just wait for the Woolworths sale to come around and get the latest releases at a cut of the normal price.