I’m looking at The Social Network on iTunes and I really, really want to see it. I missed it at the theater and figured I’d just rent it on iTunes when it came out.
But noooo! No rental offered, just the option to purchase. At 15 bucks!
There is no way in hell that I’m going to pay $15 to own a digital movie. Sure, back in the old days I’d plop down $20 for a DVD. But at least then I had a physical thing I could put on a shelf and dust around. Or, along with other DVDs, use as a structural support to prop up a really sagging bookshelf.
I just don’t understand how the studios limit digital rentals the way they do. Hey morons: the old system is over! Almost ever Blockbuster in my area is gone. Sure, I could try a Redbox, but it’s way over at the supermarket and I want my digital media now!
Anyway, The Social Media is currently at #14 on iTunes. I bet it’d be at #1 if rentals were available.
It could be worse. Amazon is asking for $25 to watch this movie. You’d think it’d be cheaper than buying the DVD but it’s not. I’m not paying $25 to see a movie that I very well may not like, even if Andrew-Lee Potts is in it.
My little rant reminds me of a recent comment from a comedy podcast where the person talks about how much VHS videos used to cost back in the day. The guy (no idea who or what podcast) mentioned paying something like $90 for a copy of Tron.
So, I guess things have improved.
But 15 bucks to download a movie is still ridiculous.
The advantage of a DVD is that most people’s home viewing is set up to accommodate DVD or Blu-Ray, so you can watch it in your lounge on your LCD TV. A “Digital Download” has no real form and for most people (not SDMB members, obviously :rolleyes:) getting the laptop out, carting it to the lounge, plugging it into the wall, finding the cables to connect it to the TV, booting it up, opening iTunes, finding the movie you want to watch, and then getting it playing is a lot more hassle than simply putting a disc into the DVD/Blu-Ray player already located near (and connected to) their TV.
Yes, I know it’s possible to stream media from a computer using various components of technological wizardry, but given that the average computer user’s technical knowledge is about on par with Jen from The IT Crowd, that’s not a particularly feasible approach for the most part.
Also, as DVDs (and Blu-Rays) are a physical object, people understand there’s a cost involved in manufacturing them, shipping them, and then there’s the store’s overheads and markup- but when (for example) the download is $19.99 and the disc version is $24.95, I think people are entitled to say “Hang on, that’s not right”, with an addendum of “For the extra $5 I’ll get the ‘old tech’; at least I’ve got something to show for my money then.”
All videos cost that much to own, up until the early 90s when sellthrough changed everything to more familiar prices (for me it was then down to around NZ$30 each, which was probably US$20). Until then you had to rent to get reasonable affordability.
Price hasn’t really changed much in the last 20 years.
Where is the old system over? When I’m in Ottawa I still see Blockbusters all over the place. Right across the street from me in Gatineau there’s even an old timey independent DVD rental store, with an adult section in the back! My girlfriend is always involved in mutually borrowing DVDs with various co-workers, whereas I can’t recall ever hearing of any of our friends buying or renting a movie as a digital file. People I know either buy movies/rent legally on discs, or stream/download them illegally.
This was one of the reasons I got into laserdisc. The players were more expensive, but I could own a movie for $30-40 when the same movie was $100 on VHS; if you wanted to build a movie library, LD was better quality and less expensive. Some movies took years to go into sellthrough on VHS, and some never did.
Even after it became common to push new releases into sellthrough territory, smaller films still got the $100 treatment until the bitter end. I remember buying Chasing Amy on Criterion LD for $35 on the day of its release (widescreen! director’s commentary! extras!), and a friend had to wait several months for the VHS to get lowered from $100; I think he got a used VHS copy for $25 three months after its release, and new copies weren’t out for a while after that.