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Lengthening The Tail

Ah, crappy economic times call for more interesting ways to get money out of you, the consumer, who is apparently not consuming. For fans of old movies, this seems like an excellent idea:

Warner Bros on Monday became the first studio to open its film vault to "made-to-order" DVDs, as it sought new revenues in a slumping DVD market by making it possible for fans to buy decades-old films.

Warner Bros, owned by Time Warner Inc, made an initial batch of 150 titles available for purchase online at www.WarnerArchive.com, including 1943 comedy-romance "Mr. Lucky" starring Cary Grant and the 1962 release "All Fall Down" with Warren Beatty and Eva Marie Saint.


The Warner Bros film archive has 6,800 titles. Since it entered the DVD market in 1997, the studio has released only around 1,200 of those titles from the vault. By comparison, the company expects by the end of the year to have more than 300 titles available via the DVD-on-demand service.

"I think ultimately the odds are very good that every film ever made will be available on this kind of basis, because why not?" Adams said.

Excellent. BOD (burn on demand) should work very well for something that's owned outright by the publisher (er, studio), since there's no chance of a "if it goes out of print, rights revert to the creator" argument.

In a related note, that sort of suggests that when POD gets off the ground, it'll happen first with media tie-in work-for-hire books. Those'll never go away now. Which is good news for you Buffy/Star Wars/Farscape/whoever completists out there.