Friday, August 18, 2006

DVD Boxsets: Getting through the delays

What do Daria, The Wonder Years, WKRP in Cincinnati and PBS's 10-part miniseries on Rock and Roll have in common?

Each of these series are in a grey area when it comes to DVD release because of the amount of licensed music that each program contained, and the negotiation of fees and permissions for tens to hundreds of pieces of music, and I was thinking there had to be a better way for the fans, the major corporation and the talent to all get what they wanted.

I mean, if you think about it, the fact that many of these music-rich shows don't have official DVD releases is leading to offshore outlets to create them and sell them to North American consumers, or to bootleg material from other regions like the UK for our own region. Additionally, hearing that music on episodic television DVD's would probably also spur on sales for a lot of back catalog albums and inspire some iTunes purchases.

Now my solution to this whole mess is both simple and radical at the same time. For a lot of these series, I don't see why a sliding scale fee couldn't be assessed and levied on these products per unit so that people who enjoy watching uncensored and original cuts of series can have that and the music industry can have a cut of the pie. Of course, the costs of that would most likely be passed on to the consumer, but at this point, I would gladly pay it to be able to watch some of my favorite series unaltered and commercial-free. The way I see it is, all this red tape that the music industry is throwing up to make the process as complicated as possible is costing them money... a lot of money.

Of course, logic and licensing seem to be in short supply when together, so I have grave doubts that such a plan could ever come to fruition, and that is a right shame, because a whole new generation of viewers and music listeners are missing out.


Mr. Fabulous said...

I like your plan!

BlogMad hit! Schwing!

MC said...

Of course, the question then becomes what is a reasonable fee?

Jeremy said...

Once again the music labels are missing the technology boat and losing money and fans by resisting a format that they didn't think of.

As you point out, how many new fans who might end up buying some music that they get introduced to on a show. I'm sure there are some tracks played on WKRP that aren't moving on iTunes and could use the promotion.

I ranted about this too awhile back and the article I referenced is still active. Check it out, it shows how absurd the labels are being:

MC said...

Glad we were both on the same page about this. I really want to see Daria and the like on DVD, but alas, with MTV, that probably isn't going to happen. After all, it is not a million unit seller if you know what I mean.