Full disclosure, my disc library is approaching 1700 discs. I’ve got a problem, I admit it, but that doesn’t stop me. Netflix helps, but some movies need to be supported and others I want on hand to watch over or to watch their extras. And there’s the rub. If I’m going shell out the $$’s I want to know what is on the disc and if it is any good. We rent discs to see if we want to buy them. Unless the movie is so excellent there is no question of owning (very few these days) it is the extras that will tip the balance.
WB has been doing this for a while and, frankly, it ain’t helping them with us. I don’t think it is helping them generally with sales either. WB rental discs tend to have a ton of previews that you can’t skip through and only the movie. Period.
Universal is new into this arena and they took both a smarter and worse approach. Smarter in that the disc has the same menu as the “full” version so you could see what was there. Worse in that when you select anything but the movie or settings, you get a “Purchase the disc to complete your viewing experience.” Allow me to say: Complete This! Definitely cost them with us.
Extras on a disc aren’t something you watch once. You want them for rewatching, often many times. This is true whether a good commentary (however rare these are) or short films or making of’s or whatever. Extras are just that. First you want a good or great film and then you want the “extras.”
C’mon, studios, if watching the extras once makes it so I won’t buy the disc, I wasn’t going to in the first place. We test drive discs in rental. And good extras may just get us to buy the disc sooner (which usually means a higher price point) or eventually (at a lower price point).
I can tell you outright that these experiences lost you a sale on at least one of these (read the reviews to figure out which 😉