Content and Cataloging Concerns
In an online blog post, the Wall Street Journal (2010) quoted James Cameron as saying “‘We’ll do the Blu-ray and the standard def DVD April 22nd, that’s our plan as of right now, and that’ll be pretty much bare bones. And then we’ll do a value-added DVD and a 3-D Blu-ray in I think November sometime.’” Customers concerned about missing out on key bonus features in rental editions should be aware that these features are being reserved for a later special edition release. Furthermore, the rental edition is the same edition offered by NetFlix, Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, and other home video rental businesses.
Additionally, customers who prefer to select retail editions to avoid duplicate catalog records should be aware that both the retail and rental editions of Avatar will only be available for 60 days before Fox cancels them in preparation for the November special edition release.
Street Date Delivery and Pricing
Midwest Tape can only guarantee pre-street date delivery of the rental edition of Avatar. To ensure timely delivery and order fulfillment, we strongly urge libraries to order the rental edition of this title. Midwest Tape will ship all orders on a first come, first serve basis.
Large retailers, like Wal-Mart and Target, have “imposed strict limits on the number of [retail edition] DVDs any one customer can buy at a time, making it harder for movie-rental kiosks such as Coinstar’s (CSTR) Redbox to get their hands on large numbers of newly released discs” (BusinessWeek, 2010). Due to reduced supply caused by these factors, customers who choose to order the retail edition should do so as early as possible because fulfillment of retail edition orders cannot be guaranteed.
In addition to the decreased supply, these limitations have lead to increased costs for library vendors who attempt to supply their customers with retail editions, leading some to discontinue the practice. Midwest Tape has decided to continue to offer our customers the retail edition, but it has become necessary to increase the cost of Fox retail titles by an average of $4–$5 per title. Essentially, we are buying indirectly to supply our customers with Fox retail DVDs.
We first tackled Fox’s retail/rental plan in an October News and Views story: 20th Century Fox Distributing Rental Editions of DVD Titles. Paramount also implemented a rental/retail DVD strategy in 2009: Paramount Experiments with Two-Tiered Pricing on Upcoming DVD Releases.
The pricing increase will be applied to all Fox retail DVDs announced after March 15, 2010. Retail editions announced before March 15, Fox rental editions, and standard releases will not be affected.
We appreciate your understanding in this matter. Please contact Customer Service at 800.875.2785 with any questions. You can also post feedback and questions here as comments.
- Wall Street Journal: James Cameron on the Coming DVD Release of ‘Avatar’
- cNet News: Cameron pegs 'Avatar' to 3D Blu-ray in November, Fox denies
- BusinessWeek: Wal-Mart, Target Put Squeeze on Redbox
- Variety: Retailers take aim at Redbox
- Entertainment Weekly: 'Avatar' DVD to hit stores on April 22 (Earth Day)