Free giveaways blamed for 'cheapening' DVDs

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A new survey has revealed that British newspapers give away as many DVDs as are being purchased in stores, and this is being blamed for a cheapening of the format in consumers’ eyes.

Though films given away are often older and may have reached the end of their saleable shelf life, this isn’t always the case, and the problem is repeated across Europe.

In the first quarter of this year, about 54 million DVDs were given away free with newspapers. That compares to 130m in the whole of the last year, when shop sales were at 211m.

"It’s clear that that kind of quantity of free discs circulating in the
market cannot help but have a dampening effect on the purchase of
DVDs," said Helen Davis Jayalath, Screen Digest’s senior home
entertainment analyst.

DVD sales are slowing down significantly across Europe. Most of the
large Hollywood studios oppose these giveaways, but smaller local
distributors can often do quite lucrative short-term deals with
publishers.

I’m not convinced this is the only reason that DVD sales are stagnating
at present. I am sure someone else will come along and blame the
Internet and film piracy as well.

What do you think?

Andy Merrett