Â On the bright side, the release of The Little Mermaid on DVD is meeting with a lot of success…record setting success. On the dark side, it shows the changing nature of movie ownership.
Â Â Â It is one thing to have a copy on an IPOD…does that hold the same value as receiving a case, artwork, and bonus features? Target would argue yes. Some purchasers would argue the same.
Â Â Â Other people find enough value in the bonus features, packaging, and more permanent nature of owning the DVD to make Mermaid a 4 million seller. That is pretty good.
Â Â Â But it does lead to an interesting question. Have you ever purchased a favorite movie or television series…only to need to repurchase it when formats change? I personally used to own Little Mermaid on VHS. When the DVD player all but obsoleted the DVD format I had a choice…I could watch the movie in a sub-optimal format, I could not watch it at all…or I could repurchase something I already owned in a new format.
Â Â Â The situation only gets more annoying when various products are released with exclusive content in three or four different releases.
Â Â Â How many people you know own the original Star Wars trilogy on VHS, the “Special Edition” where they retouched it, also on VHS, the DVD boxed set, then the new DVD set with new exclusive content? Do you own one product or four?
Â Â Â Maybe I am out of line here, but as a consumer my issue is not whether the new release is 13 bucks for one format or 15 bucks or 30 bucks for another…it is why I should have to pay full price for something I already bought.Â
Â Â Â If these companies really want to do something meaningful, how about establishing a program that keeps up to date the libraries of those of us who already purchased these materials and made them popular enough in the first place to justify the rerelease in the new format.