The Trend Following the DVD Box Set

Kompare’s article makes the point that the DVD Box Set allows for television to target consumers specifically, and not necessarily selling as much to advertisers anymore. The question is how long will this remain the case. Kompare states, “the DVD has rejuvenated the home video industry and has finally enabled television to achieve what film had by the mid-1980s, namely, a viable direct-to-consumer market for its programming.” (337) When television viewers hear about a television show that perhaps is in its third season, the viewer feels inclined to catch up. The DVD Box Set is a great way to do that, as you watch episodes at your own convenience. The box sets of course cost money, and often a lot of money, so for college kids this is an inconvenience. Also, I feel like adults with jobs don’t necessarily have as much time to watch multiple episodes in a given day, unless they are really into a particular show. There is no doubt that DVD Box Set is appealing as it the television show and authors are selling their product to the actual consumer, and if rating were bad for a season, but got great reviews, viewer can purchase the season on DVD.

What is most interesting to discuss is the trend in television. I have a fair amount of seasons of various shows on DVD, roughly five or so shows, but I never got to into it as I’d rather not re-watch a show when I could watch a new different one. With regards to cable, specifically DVR and On Demand, how the television series is selling its product becomes a little more blurred. If a viewer records a particular series weekly, they most likely skip past the commercials, upsetting the advertisers whose commercials do not get seen. The On Demand feature is best on HBO like stations in which the viewer has to pay to receive the channel. On Demand allows the viewer to have a DVD Box Set in their cable box, which is really cool. Not every season of a show is going to be available, but still a viewer can re-watch or catch up on one season at a time.

Apart from DVR and On Demand, is the ability to watch a show online, which brings watching a show normally on television at a specific time full circle in a certain regard. Online the viewer has to watch a brief 30-second commercial at breaks or at the beginning of a show, but again the television show is selling to the advertisers and not the consumer. I’d argue that DVR and watching online are the trend and DVD Box Sets will become less popular because of their cost. It is interesting that the DVR way of watching a show does not allow the television show to sell itself to the advertiser or consumer, but instead increases the demand for TiVo or Comcast DVR. As the quality continues to improve online, the increase in viewers likely will too. Still, the comfort of watching a show on television every Sunday at 8 will continue to remain, as a true fan of a show always is the first to see the new episode.

One response to “The Trend Following the DVD Box Set

  1. I think it’s interesting to think that the DVD box set won’t be a long lasting trend because the issues of cost and functionality seem to outweigh the aesthetic value of the product. However, I think that this seemingly unproductive object is what will make the DVD boxset a lasting trend. While On Demand and Tivo features allow for instant access of multiple shows for a price that is relatively more affordable than an expensive DVD box set, it is important to consider who these consumers are in the first place. We have read and discussed how the HBO viewer in particular is generally in the upper middle class and put value onto the aesthetic and artistic nature of television programming and viewing. The DVD box set to me seems like an extension of the luxury of watching HBO it serves as a luxury piece of memorabilia that extends the high quality viewing experience of television into a tangible product.