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Topic: Death of DVDs?
Message: Posted by: greatchach (Sep 28, 2010 06:09PM)
I could be wrong, but it seems like dealers are desperate to dump their DVD inventories lately. The number of ads and offers for DVD sets priced at 75% off (and some places offering to toss in hundreds of dollar's worth of DVDs free with a minimum order) seems to grow every week. And it's not just the bad stuff either - some of this is quality, time-tested material. Is there a behind-the-scenes story to all this craziness?

It makes sense why VHS might be cheap now as a lot of people don't bother with them anymore. But DVDs? Technology is certainly going well beyond plastic discs, but aside from a select few books available for reading on an ipad, it doesn't seem like the world of magic is chomping at the bit for Blu-ray quite yet.

Perhaps all the DVD clearing out is just related to the slower economy, but seems like there's something else to it. It might drive some sales now, but it must hurt all those buyers who bought those DVDs when they weren't tossed into orders like packing peanuts.
Message: Posted by: Billgussen (Sep 28, 2010 08:54PM)
It isn't going away to BluRay, it's going towards digital download of video or streaming video. That leaves sellers with a large stock of DVDs on hand taking up space and money in terms of inventory. Streaming, on the other hand, just takes computer space, and doesn't tie up cash in inventory.

Nobody can really see the future, but DVD seems to very quickly be becoming the past.
Message: Posted by: silverking (Sep 28, 2010 09:22PM)
I don't think it's anything like that.

But rather the hundreds, if not thousands of crappy, poorly thought out, slap-dash boring magic DVD's we've seen released in the last few years.

It's dealers and manufacturers unloading many thousands of those [i]just plain crappy magic DVD's.[/i]
Message: Posted by: octave (Sep 28, 2010 09:26PM)
I'm not too comfortable with streaming videos. I still feel they should opt for a solution from Leaping brain or create a model like Steam (for computer games).

-octave
Message: Posted by: jcroop (Sep 28, 2010 09:32PM)
I do think the DVD will eventually go away, but not for a while.

I think that the current rash of deep discounts on DVDs is to get inventory moving because of the slow economy. Not only are there more "sales" on DVDs but many of the magic shops are having deep discounts on all of their items in order to keep their sales moving.

Perhaps some of the dealers can let us know for sure.
Message: Posted by: Cameron Francis (Sep 28, 2010 10:31PM)
DVD's not going anywhere. Too many people like to collect things. They like the physical packaging.
Message: Posted by: motown (Sep 28, 2010 10:45PM)
I think one of the reasons you're seeing such big discounts on many of the DVD sets from L&L is because they didn't sell well. I think L&L made some mistakes in size of several of these sets. The Flip and Sawa sets for example. Others just weren't popular.

Many other sets have now been around for several years and there's only so many buyers out there.

Competition is another factor. There's so many more company's producing Dvds and only so many dollars to go around.

There are Dvds from other company's that are poorly done and nobody wants them.
Message: Posted by: slowkneenuh (Sep 29, 2010 01:44AM)
Cameron, I'm always excited to see or hear of your latest card tricks but boy oh boy don't expect to become my seer.:) You sound like the marketing folks from companies that have or are disappearing because they felt the same way about film, prints, books, newspapers, magazines, records, 8 tracks, CD's, tapes, board games, and all the other things that are moving or have moved to digital.

But I still love your magic with cards!
Message: Posted by: baobow (Sep 29, 2010 04:12AM)
Unless a dvd has continual hype and reminders of how great it is on internet boards like these, I doubt they contine to sell very much 6 months or so after the initial release.

We are constantly advertised and presented with so many new dvds on a weekly basis that it is hard to remember what was released 3 months ago if you didn't buy it.

Back in the early days of magic videos, everyone knew that Easy to Master Card/Coin miracles was a must buy and though the production quality of Brad Burt's tutorials were low, provided some great instructions and material. Nowadays, everyman and his dog can release a single trick idea to the masses.
Message: Posted by: motown (Sep 29, 2010 01:15PM)
I've only bought a few downloads so far and really haven't been happy with the quality. The files just haven't been large enough.

For now, I'll continue you to buy Dvds.
Message: Posted by: cairo (Sep 29, 2010 01:52PM)
Buying downloads is okay, but will only be the wave of the future if a stop can be put to pirates who offer free illegal downloads that squeeze magic creators who can't afford it.
Message: Posted by: Review King (Sep 29, 2010 01:57PM)
I believe the economy is driving all the incredible sales. DVDS are very inexpensive to produce, so they can be heaily discounted.
Message: Posted by: helder (Sep 29, 2010 02:29PM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-28 23:31, Cameron Francis wrote:
DVD's not going anywhere. Too many people like to collect things. They like the physical packaging.
[/quote]


I agree. :)
Message: Posted by: Cameron Francis (Sep 29, 2010 05:31PM)
Hey, Slow. I do understand your point. At the same time, I really don't see books, magazines, DVDs, etc. completely disappearing. They will still exist alongside digital stuff. In fact, I think I read somewhere that magazine subscriptions are up!

I sometimes buy music from iTunes. But I still prefer to buy the CD as it sounds better. I don't think I'm the only one out there. Heck, people are buying vinyl again because of the sound quality!

But thanks for your compliments regarding my magic! :)
Message: Posted by: ted french (Sep 29, 2010 07:26PM)
And we are talking about magic not the rest of the entertainment industry our thing is different than other industries. The DVDs are reduced in price because the seller had more than the could handle most likely and they had to go. It's old school retail. DVDs will stick around for a while.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Sep 30, 2010 12:27PM)
Maybe the future of Magic Videos:

Flash Drives?

Doug
Message: Posted by: motown (Sep 30, 2010 01:34PM)
It's more than just having to much, it's having to much of something the consumer doesn't want or need. You see this all the time in areas like fashion where retailers make the wrong decisions on what the buying public wants. It might be styles, colors, etc.

There's a whole lot more being thrown out into the marketplace then there ever was. As a result, there's going to be more competition for our magic dollars.
Message: Posted by: cairo (Sep 30, 2010 02:32PM)
With the proliferation of net exposures, free file sharing of proprietary material and heightened publishing of the insignificant, I think the backlash is a throwback to the past. If it's good pro material, the pro is becoming more and more selective in passing along the real work. Today a guy who is truly making his living with great stuff is less and less interested in making an instructional DVD. It is at the point that to share something valuable it is done one on one, not made available to the general public as a download or dvd. As is it should be.
Message: Posted by: hbwolkov (Sep 30, 2010 03:34PM)
This may in part be due to a saturation of the marketplace with older product. My guess is we will continue to see great fresh products command a premium price and good sales until those products saturate the market and then price will drop. The timing of the cycle will vary with the general economy, quality of the product, author of the product, cost, advertisment, availablity, ect...
Message: Posted by: Chris (Sep 30, 2010 05:02PM)
Having been in magic retail for more than a decade I think it is a combination of various factors - most already mentioned. I don't think it is one factor that dominates it:

* Yes, we are currently experiencing a bad economy and doing a sale is a quick short term response to cash flow problems. Unfortunately it makes things even worse in the long run. For one, customers get accustomed to discounts and demand them always. And moving a lot of inventory now means people have stocked up on magic stuff and will buy less later.

* Yes, there are a lot more magic products available than ever before. That includes good and bad ones. It has become very easy to publish a book, ebook, DVD, or even manufacture tricks. A lot of on-demand manufacturing services are available and a lot of machinery can be had at low cost to produce all kinds of things. I think this is actually a good thing. There are more choices and it is easier for a creative person to find a market. The downside is that competition is higher and the established companies like L&L are feeling the heat from the many smaller companies who produce sometimes much more creative and interesting products.

* And yes, there is a general move from physical products to digital delivery. DVDs can be streamed or downloaded. At the Lybrary we are now also selling entire DVDs for download and streamed. I think the streaming only options some offer is not a great offering and not very customer friendly, but time and customer wallets will move the industry in the direction of where it should go.

For the old established companies it can be tough to adjust. The younger tech savvy ones will find new opportunities. I think it is an exciting time. In the end the medium isn't really important. Important is that creative magicians can share their ideas in many ways and that means we who we are interested in magic will find a lot more of interest. Of course, there is also a lot more to weed out through reviews, recommendations, etc. That's why a forum like this is very important.
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (Sep 30, 2010 06:00PM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-29 14:52, cairo wrote:
Buying downloads is okay, but will only be the wave of the future if a stop can be put to pirates who offer free illegal downloads that squeeze magic creators who can't afford it.
[/quote]

Everyone seems to equate downloadable magic products with piracy. Murphy's just started a streaming service and people were concerned about it with that. But the fact is 99% of the bootleg material available for download is coming from ripped DVDs, not legally downloaded content.

One thing has nothing to do with the other and nothing is ever going to be done about piracy. What will dictate the new formats is what the marketplace wants. If more people continue to buy DVDs than downloads, then DVDs will continue to be produced. The opposite can also be true.

There are so many products that come out every day that it's impossible for a dealer or distributor to keep everything stocked. Eventually the overstock has to go and that's why we're seeing the increase in sales.
Message: Posted by: Billgussen (Sep 30, 2010 07:14PM)
[quote]
On 2010-09-28 23:31, Cameron Francis wrote:
DVD's not going anywhere. Too many people like to collect things. They like the physical packaging.
[/quote]

There's a generational gap that you aren't taking into consideration. I work in an Entertainment industry geared towards a younger audience (I translate Japanese comic books read mainly by high-school and college-age readers), and the emphasis on the physical books was just fine up to three years ago -- then it turned on a dime, faster than the industry could turn, and it is all about digital now. The book trade (in my industry) is in rapid decline. The majority of people past their mid-20s still wants the physical books and love their collections, but vast majority of readers below that line all want it digital.

The magic community skews older than the community where I'm employed, and DVDs will probably last longer, but the younger people jumping on board magic now don't care if it's physical or not -- and most probably prefer that it not be (no waiting on downloads).

I agree the recession has a lot to do with it, but don't discount the move toward downloads and streaming. The much-cheaper distribution costs are a great for the manufacturers, and instant gratification is what the young consumers want.

Bill
Message: Posted by: aussiemagic (Sep 30, 2010 07:51PM)
I definitely think dvds are on their way out.

I like to watch movies but haven't rented a dvd for over two years. I have cable TV and can purchase movies through my cable TV set up. I never have to worry about returning a dvd!

I definitely think that magic dvds will be obsolete in the future, everything will be available online as a download. There are people who like to collect things but they will get over it and adjust to a lifestyle with less clutter.
Message: Posted by: Chris (Oct 1, 2010 05:31AM)
It is easy to blame piracy for lower DVD sales. Of course piracy does exist and it is something we all need to work together to reduce but my experience over the last 10 years is that the majority of magicians are willing to pay a fair price for quality products. I therefore think that piracy is at best a contributing factor but by no means a fundamental reason for the shift in customer behavior.
Message: Posted by: slowkneenuh (Oct 1, 2010 10:15AM)
Hey Cameron,
I just received Tom Baxter's new book about the NW. In it was a free VHS tape. Would you like it for your collection? :) LOL
Best,
John
Message: Posted by: noble1 (Oct 1, 2010 11:03AM)
Chris I agree magicians are willing to pay a fair price for quality, especially when it comes to props they can't make themselves. But when it comes to DVDs and piracy, there is no doubt piracy and free file sharing sites have an increasing impact since they have grown a thousand fold since ten years ago.
Message: Posted by: Chris (Oct 1, 2010 11:16AM)
I am not saying piracy does not have in impact. It does. But it is typically blown out of proportions when people use it as argument for low sales. To make this argument at least from my side very short I can say that Lybrary.com sells pretty much only download products. We are therefore more exposed to piracy than any other magic retailer. Nevertheless I could build my business. If piracy would really kill DVD sales then Lybrary.com should not be able to exist. Piracy annoys me and I do whatever I can do to reduce it. But I don't see it as the number one threat to my success.
Message: Posted by: Mentalist Sam (Oct 1, 2010 11:34AM)
Eventually every format is replaced by something else. But I don't think we're going to see the demise of DVD in the near future. Why? We're not ready for it. Not everyone has broadband access and not everyone wants to watch movies, magic DVDs, etc on their computer.

Given the choice between watching a magic DVD on my computer or my 46" HD plasma screen TV, I'm choosing the TV!

DVD isn't going to be replaced by Blu-Ray. It's going to be replaced by streaming content. I do have a small non-magic DVD collection for movies that I love and where bonus features were included. Typically you don't get that anywhere other than DVD. But I too do not rent DVD anymore, but do have a NetFlix subscription, although we never have DVDs sent to the house any longer because there is so much available through their streaming service.

But NetFlix was smart in that they opened up their service to third party developers to create integration with game boxes or independent components that connect their streaming service to your TV.

Magic doesn't have anything like this in place. Murphy's has launched a streaming service, but it has a lot of flaws. What they've launched is not the game changer. If they did what NetFlix did instead, then it would be a game changer. A monthly fee for access to the entire library. Not full retail price for a streaming title.

Just for clarification, streaming isn't downloading. Streaming gives you more flexibility. Again, think NetFlix. On your TV you have a library of movie titles available immediately. Downloads wont replace DVDs, streaming will. Downloads give you a similar problem to a physical DVD. You have to store it. Whether it's on your computer or backed up on some sort of media, there is little benefit to downloading something rather than purchasing a DVD.

Once we have a Netflix-type model in place for magic products, that's when we will start to see the demise of magic DVDs.
Message: Posted by: Mike McEathron (Oct 1, 2010 12:20PM)
The DVD market is going to slowly disappear just like everything else....Producers of magic are tired of producing a dvd to only find it on a bit torrent site several hrs after release.....sad but a fact......I was reading on a thread that Bob kohler was saying that Allen Ackerman is no longer producing magic books dvd's nothing it is just not worth the time and effort.....only the future will tell........

Mike
Message: Posted by: motown (Oct 1, 2010 01:01PM)
I suspect many creators don't want to be bothered with putting out books or DVDS, because there isn't much financial reward for them. I had a conversation with Gary Kurtz over 15 years ago this very subject.
Message: Posted by: noble1 (Oct 1, 2010 01:06PM)
For every Ackerman that makes a statement that goes public there are at least a few other genius category creators who feel it is no longer financially worth the hassle to release their originations, or perhaps only on a non-advertised, high price, limited basis. In a relatively small niche market that fact becomes more and more evident because the dealers still need a neverending supply of new product which I think accounts for the high volume and low quality non-audience tested material that constantly hits the market.
Message: Posted by: Kozmo (Oct 1, 2010 02:00PM)
DVD's will disappear just as soon as there's a way to secure downloads so people cant steal our work. And you're right, a lot of guys aren't putting out the best work because of the theft of our work.
Message: Posted by: Mentalist Sam (Oct 1, 2010 02:12PM)
There's always been talk of "all these people never releasing anything again" and yet there is more product on the market than ever before.

Theft is always going to be there. Always.

If the motion picture association can't do anything about it, the magic community certainly can't.

Nothing and I mean nothing is 100% secure and it never will be. Even streaming, not downloads, but streaming, can be captured.

But going back to my previous post, if it's a NetFlix type model, why would you want to? It costs me $9.95 per month and I have access to thousands of movies every day. For less than $120 a year, why would I want to try and steal movies? It doesn't make financial sense to do that. I'd spend more on media trying to back it up than I would for the service.

Kozmo, it's not about downloads. Downloads are BS and will never be secure - never. Subscription based streaming services is what will be the ultimate demise of DVDs. It's what killing the DVD rental industry.

There are more people out there willing to pay a reasonable monthly fee for access than there are people willing to steal it. The people who are stealing it were never going to be your customers. If they couldn't steal it then they would never see it because they were never going to buy it in the first place.

Murphy's started something with streaming, it's just they are executing poorly. But it needs to be a large company like Murphy's who will pull together all the DVD producers and develop a subscription based service. All they're doing now is selling streaming content for the same price as a DVD. There is no advantage to their current plan.
Message: Posted by: noble1 (Oct 1, 2010 02:25PM)
The netflix plan to a magic creator isn't any incentive, what's in it for the working pro to share his best work? Peanuts. That's a good plan for a big movie company and for consumers. That plan is good for the existing magic library, but a clever creator might sell his creation on a one-on-one non-advertised basis to a few select pros with no production-hassle and 1000% markup which makes sense. Kozmo has it right, a lot of guys are no longer interested in marketing their best work. That's why most of what hits the market is non-audience tested and put out by non-workers for an ever-growing rank amateurs.
Message: Posted by: Mentalist Sam (Oct 1, 2010 02:59PM)
If that is true, then why does Kozmo continue to put out DVDs? Based on his comment and yours, he's putting out sub-par material.
Message: Posted by: Mentalist Sam (Oct 1, 2010 03:03PM)
$9.95 a month would not work for our industry. It would have to cost more per month. But one producer could not afford to cost of servers and bandwidth to support a streaming service. That's why it would have to be done through one company.

The fact is we have a limited market. There is only so much money to go around. Profits aren't dwindling because of piracy. They are dwindling because there are more and more products coming out. They are dwindling because there is no longer a reason to pay full retail any longer. I can buy any DVD title for LESS than wholesale right here on the Café. That is a bigger problem.
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (Oct 1, 2010 03:25PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-01 15:25, noble1 wrote:
That's why most of what hits the market is non-audience tested and put out by non-workers for an ever-growing rank amateurs.
[/quote]

I hate to tell you this, but magic retail has always been aimed at amateurs. Amateurs are the ones who support magic retailers. It's not the pros. Even items targeted at pros are bought by amateurs who have money and are collectors.

The professional magicians need to thank the amateurs for supporting magic retail. This isn't new. It's been like this for a century.
Message: Posted by: motown (Oct 1, 2010 03:43PM)
When Magic videos first came out they where few and far between. They represented some of the best in the business. A far cry from what were seeing today.

There's just too much mediocre material being thrown out into the marketplace.
Message: Posted by: Mentalist Sam (Oct 1, 2010 04:36PM)
I've been in this business for a long time. Over three decades and I remember a time when only a couple of magic books were published every year. Can you imagine that? Of course this is before video, desktop publishing, etc.

Back then there were more brick and mortar shops and if you did mail order, it was through a big company like Abbott's or Tannen's. When a new effect came on the market, it too was a big deal and it was popular for a long time. Years even.

But make no mistake. There was a lot of garbage out back then as well. Knock-offs too. Every issue that we face today existed back then. Guys would photocopy books and lecture notes and trade them like they do with video today. Little has changed.

What has changed is magic dealers, DVD producers, book publishers, etc are trying to hold on to an out-dated business model and that just isn't possible anymore.

As was mentioned previously, there is only so much money to go around. It's not millions of people buying product. It's a couple of thousand at most. But with the increase of self-published DVDs, ebooks, real books, effects, etc. that creates a big dent in the old way of doing things.

Especially in this economy. As an example, say someone has $100 to spend on magic that month. They see a thread posted here on The Café about some new, independent release. It's limited. It's really hyped up. At the same time they're considering buying a new DVD set from larger magic producer. Well the big name DVD set will always be there, but this new release (crap or not) may not be, so they buy that instead. So the magic producer takes a hit on the sale. Maybe the next month that customer comes back here, sees someone selling the DVD set for 50% of retail. Score! But the magic producer takes a hit because he doesn't see any of that money.

This is a typical scenario. It's not illegal. It's not unethical. But it is the magic is bought and sold now.

All of this may seem off topic, but it helps to understand why business has changed. For creators to state they are not going to release new items because of illegal downloads is really ignoring the larger "problem". It's not really a problem, it's just business has changed.

It's a convenient excuse to blame illegal downloads, as if this was a new problem. Guys like Steve Dusheck and John Cornelius stopped releasing new material because they got tired of their creations being ripped off. But that isn't new either because they material has been ripped off for over 30 years.

It's easier than ever to release something new. ebooks, print-on-demand, home video, etc. You no longer have to wait for a publisher or producer to put your material out. It's easier than ever to market your new creation. Those are the reasons magic retail is changing, more so than piracy.

To me, a NetFlix scenario is better than nothing for some of the larger publishers with a substantial catalog of titles. The business has changed and holding on to what was isn't going to help.
Message: Posted by: Cameron Francis (Oct 1, 2010 07:25PM)
Interesting points, all. It's probably true for people in their early 20s. They don't care about physical products like CDs and DVDs because they're not really had to deal with them.
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (Oct 1, 2010 08:33PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-01 15:25, noble1 wrote:
The netflix plan to a magic creator isn't any incentive, what's in it for the working pro to share his best work? Peanuts.
[/quote]

What do you think magic DVDs pay? When you go to a large magic DVD producer, they typically pay the performer a flat rate and some free copies of the DVD. That's it. These guys aren't making a percentage of all sales. They make the same money if the producer sell 10 copies or 10,000 copies. From the performer's perspective, nothing would change. They would still make the same money. The producer makes his money over time, just as they do now.

[quote]
On 2010-10-01 16:43, motown wrote:
When Magic videos first came out they where few and far between. They represented some of the best in the business. A far cry from what were seeing today.
[/quote]

Let me ask you this - who is there left to capture on DVD? There aren't too many guys left that have the decades of experience worth putting on DVD. It was easy to do this 15 years ago when no one was on video. Well now they're all on video and the majority that's left don't have the years of solid experience. Some of what we see now are guys rushing to get anything and everything on the market because they can, not because they should.
Message: Posted by: noble1 (Oct 1, 2010 08:57PM)
I could name at least a dozen top pros who haven't done instructional video and are worth their weight in gold to capture, but they probably never will do it because they make their livings performing for real people as opposed to being magicians magicians.
Message: Posted by: Cameron Francis (Oct 1, 2010 11:01PM)
Some producers do royalties.

As a side note, I find it very interesting that there seems to be this prevailing idea that only working pros have valuable ideas which should be shared.

Some of magic's best creators are hobbyists and some hardly perform at all. Some people enjoy the creative process but don't care to perform or at least they don't perform that often. And some of these guys would rather not get in front of a camera and do it.
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (Oct 2, 2010 03:44AM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-01 21:57, noble1 wrote:
I could name at least a dozen top pros who haven't done instructional video and are worth their weight in gold to capture, but they probably never will do it because they make their livings performing for real people as opposed to being magicians magicians.
[/quote]

I know some names as well, but the fact is they're not willing to do it because they're working and don't want to release their working material. Like I said, when this first started years ago, there was more people to choose from. That isn't the case any longer.

quote]
On 2010-10-02 00:01, Cameron Francis wrote:
As a side note, I find it very interesting that there seems to be this prevailing idea that only working pros have valuable ideas which should be shared.

Some of magic's best creators are hobbyists and some hardly perform at all. Some people enjoy the creative process but don't care to perform or at least they don't perform that often. And some of these guys would rather not get in front of a camera and do it.
[/quote]

Cameron,

You bring up a couple of interesting points.

The problem with this market is the the average customer wants to be entertained as well as informed. If you get a guy who isn't a performer or not the best performer, it doesn't matter how great the material is, the set is going to get poor reviews based on that alone. The perfect example is a DVD set that came out a few months ago from Barrie Richardson. He doesn't make his living as a performer, doesn't have the most dynamic personality and yet his material is incredible. But sales were soft, no one was talking about the DVDs and most who were mentioning it were overly critical of his performance.

Pro or not, if they're not willing to get in front of the camera, it narrows down the choices. The selection of people to get on video is less than it was previously.
Message: Posted by: Chris (Oct 2, 2010 06:47AM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-02 00:01, Cameron Francis wrote:

As a side note, I find it very interesting that there seems to be this prevailing idea that only working pros have valuable ideas which should be shared.
[/quote]

I think this is an extremely important point. Think about somebody like Steward James. He was not a pro magician but what a fine creator he was. And there are literally dozens of other examples. Creativity is certainly not limited to the pro. I think we need to separate performing from creating. One does not need to be good in both to make valuable contributions to magic. For example Eugene Burger said himself that he never really created any new effect but that he worked a lot on the presentational side and as we all know he made immense contributions there. And then you have the pure creators somebody like Lubor Fiedler who didn't do much performing but invented some of the most clever tricks known to mankind.

And the fact that it has become so easy to get your ideas out and shared with the community (forums, blogs, ebooks, books, DVDs, CDs, ...) allows many more with creative ideas to contribute to the advancement of magic. Of course with the low hurdle to contribute comes a lot of noise. But we can weed out the bad relatively fast if we share our opinions. As an anecdote I removed yesterday an ebook from my website because after reflection it really was quite uninformed. That is just the tip of the iceberg. If we all write reviews and share our opinions we will find the good stuff.
Message: Posted by: motown (Oct 2, 2010 10:40AM)
Milt Kort was another fellow who wasn't a working pro, but contributed a wealth great material over his lifetime. All you have to do is look at Bobo's Modern Coin Magic. Ed Marlos another. And there are many many more like them.

Domino Magic,
you're saying all the same things I am. The same is true for books.

Everyone want's to put out a Dvd. Unfortunatly there isn't enough fresh material to support all these projects. I keep feeling like I'm watching the same routines over and over again, because the material is all so derivative. All were getting is variations of variations and little original thinking.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Oct 2, 2010 12:26PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-01 15:59, Mentalist Sam wrote:
If that is true, then why does Kozmo continue to put out DVDs? Based on his comment and yours, he's putting out sub-par material.
[/quote]

May I?

Kozmo has the series, "REEL MAGIC MAGAZINE - TV For Magicians" available. For $10, you get all the latest that's currently available, PLUS some excellent interviews and commentary from Paul Harris, Jay Sankey, Simon Lovell, etc.. Why would anyone bootleg a DVD, that you can get for 10 bucks? I imagine Kozmo puts out the DVD for advertising purposes, as well as information on what's good, who is "hot", and the thinking of our favorite magicians (your mileage may vary).

I think it's one of the smartest purchases I have made, as far as magic DVD's go. When I recover from my "setback", I plan to pick up my subscription where I left off, almost a year ago. I am not familiar with any other DVD's Kozmo has released, so I cannot comment there. One thing is for SURE. REEL MAGIC MAGAZINE, is one of the most valuable resources I have used, if just for the knowledge of the latest quality magic available. I don't have to spend HOURS at dozens of websites, to determine my needs.

Sub-par material is not an issue with that DVD. Neither is price. If anyone pirates that series, something is very wrong. Besides, it just multiplies the advertising, anyway. More publicity? LOL!

My $.02
Doug
Message: Posted by: Chris (Oct 2, 2010 12:53PM)
Rather than make generic statements like 'most DVDs released recently are bad' name the titles. Be specific and we will all be better off. Say which ones you didn't like and preferably why. And also mention the ones you did like. This thread is maybe not the best to do that but do make sure to share your insights. Then the bad ones will sell less and the producers will look for better material. I know from the magic that passes through my hands that there is also a lot of exceptional material being published today. You just have to open your ears and eyes, listen to what other trusted voices have to say and use a bit of common sense.
Message: Posted by: Mentalist Sam (Oct 2, 2010 01:28PM)
Doug,

Your post, while interesting, didn't answer the question I asked. Both Kozmo and Noble both stated this:

[quote]...a lot of guys aren't putting out the best work because of the theft of our work. [/quote]

[quote]Kozmo has it right, a lot of guys are no longer interested in marketing their best work.[/quote]

So Kozmo, who produces DVDs, continues to put out new releases. Based on the two comments above, apparently it's not the best work that could be released. I mean Kozmo just said it.

I am very familiar with Reel Magic and I've seen pirated copies of it out there. Why would anyone bootleg a copy of something they can get for $10? Why would anyone bootleg a song they could buy for .99 cents? Because they can.
Message: Posted by: cairo (Oct 2, 2010 01:58PM)
I think Kozmo touched on something important. A dvd is a visual medium, unlike a book where someone like Richardson can shine with his ideas without performing skills. Reel Magic is a magazine format which is great and shows a lot of sides of magic, but it is not stictly a teach-a-trick format like the dvds we are discussing here. Since amateurs make up the bulk of magic sales it makes sense that there's a demand not only for methods, but also for serviceable presentations which is why the teacher's performing skills come into play. This might also be why some producers use the over-hyped fake-feeling audiences to help sell the idea that the presentations are sensational.
Message: Posted by: Dougini (Oct 2, 2010 05:39PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-02 14:28, Mentalist Sam wrote:
...Why would anyone bootleg a copy of something they can get for $10? Why would anyone bootleg a song they could buy for .99 cents? Because they can.
[/quote]

Hmmm. Good point, Sam. I agree. Thanks. :)
Message: Posted by: Billgussen (Oct 2, 2010 06:25PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-02 14:28, Mentalist Sam wrote:
Doug,

Your post, while interesting, didn't answer the question I asked. Both Kozmo and Noble both stated this:

[quote]...a lot of guys aren't putting out the best work because of the theft of our work. [/quote]

[quote]Kozmo has it right, a lot of guys are no longer interested in marketing their best work.[/quote]

So Kozmo, who produces DVDs, continues to put out new releases. Based on the two comments above, apparently it's not the best work that could be released. I mean Kozmo just said it.

I am very familiar with Reel Magic and I've seen pirated copies of it out there. Why would anyone bootleg a copy of something they can get for $10? Why would anyone bootleg a song they could buy for .99 cents? Because they can.
[/quote]

And where in their posts did you interpret that *none* of the creators are putting out their best stuff? In the English I grew up on, "a lot of guys" does not encompass the whole. Does it you your dialect? A video producer's job is to find talent and try to get them to put out the best products possible. So who would know better than a video producer that there is talent out there not willing to share their work because of piracy? I'm sure it's very frustrating to see a great act, want to sign the guy, and to hear that you might have signed him if he wasn't legitimately afraid of people spreading his work all over the Internet for free.

Your idea that the world of piracy has not changed in three decades is preposterous. In the "back then" of your previous post, bootlegging was done mainly by rip-off artists trying to pass off duped VHS copies as the real thing to profit on it. Now anybody can be a pirate with just a few clicks of a mouse. And profit isn't even a motive -- people steal other people's work, put it up for the entire world to download for nothing more than the ego boost provided by some anonymous "thank yous" on a thread.

You seem to be arguing that piracy isn't a significant problem, but you give absolutely nothing to back up your claim. Then in comes Kosmo to say how it is a significant problem, and your reply is an accusation in the form of a question. Wow, that really showed class.

You made some good points on how the industry has changed, but your attack on people whose jobs are directly affected by this form of stealing makes all your good comments really easy to ignore.
Message: Posted by: edh (Oct 2, 2010 06:33PM)
[quote]If we all write reviews and share our opinions we will find the good stuff.
[/quote]

Chris, the problem is that if you give an honest review and go into the specifics of an effect. If it turns out that you don't like a product you will be set upon by the masses for "bashing" the creator.
Message: Posted by: Mentalist Sam (Oct 2, 2010 06:54PM)
[quote]
On 2010-10-02 19:25, Billgussen wrote:
You made some good points on how the industry has changed, but your attack on people whose jobs are directly affected by this form of stealing makes all your good comments really easy to ignore.
[/quote]

Ok, then just ignore my comments.
Message: Posted by: Steven Leung (Oct 3, 2010 01:22AM)
Just a personal sharing, DVD is really dying.

Because they will making 3 disc DVD set into 1 blu-ray disc for sale again.

One storage medium kills old ones is just a matter of time.

Still, the best secrets of magic are published and kept in books.
Message: Posted by: Domino Magic (Oct 3, 2010 03:46AM)
Blu-Ray isn't what will replace DVD. It's going to be streaming and it's easy to see why. For the average customer, streaming is impossible to bootleg. It follows what is happening with media in general. Think NetFlix. Think Amazon's video rental. Think iTunes Video rental. Think Rhapsody for music.

Blu-Ray doesn't solve any problems. A 3 DVD set on one Blu-Ray disc? Who cares? It's still going to cost the same. Blu-Ray doesn't equal convenience. Do you know of any magic producers moving their titles to Blu-Ray? I can't think of one. Do you know any magic producers who are moving to streaming? I do.

Video downloads from some magic producers has been available for several years now, so our marketplace is used to this. Streaming is new, but has already been implemented. There is no incentive for magic producers to release their titles on Blu-Ray because there are not enough customers to buy it. VHS to DVD is a different thing. DVD to Blu-Ray, for the average customer isn't.