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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Dvd, Video tape, Audio tape & Compact discs. » » Death of DVDs? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Domino Magic
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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.


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.
Billgussen
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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.


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
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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.
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Chris
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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.
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slowkneenuh
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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? Smile LOL
Best,
John
John

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noble1
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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.
Chris
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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.
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Mentalist Sam
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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.
Mike McEathron
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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
motown
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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.
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noble1
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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.
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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.
Mentalist Sam
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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.
noble1
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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.
Mentalist Sam
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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.
Mentalist Sam
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$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.
Domino Magic
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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.


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.
motown
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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.
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Mentalist Sam
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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.
Cameron Francis
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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.
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