• More In Depth Information on MLP DVD From Shout Factory

    I have been receiving all sorts of fan petitions and requests regarding the MLP DVD releases, but there are some things you should all be aware of before you fire up your "send massive amounts of letters to Hasbro" project.  There are a ton of small factors that go into creating and releasing a DVD. You can't just turn on the burners start passing things out.   B Ward, over at Shout Factory (The guys currently producing the single disc FiM boxes) has been communicating with everyone over on their forums about the entire process in detail. 

    I will copy paste it all below for those that don't want to go digging for it.  Hopefully this gives you an idea of what they are contending with over there!

    So go read it after the break.


    I encourage you guys to peruse the forum through and through to find the number of times people have told me that the scope was far bigger than we could possibly imagine, only to find that we'd taken the chance and that the hundreds of thousands they promised resulted in hundreds...or...a couple thousand.

    But okay.

    For the sake of argument... For a four-disc complete first season, we'd probably need somewhere in the realm of 30,000-50,000 "sold through" for there to be the chance of a second full-season volume.  That means we didn't just sell them to stores (because they can return their copies for a complete refund anytime they want; and the more they return, the fewer they buy of the next volume--if any, at all), but we sold them to stores and the stores then sold them to you, the consumers.

    This is when you say, "Oh, there are WAY more than 30,000-50,000 fans! Piece of cake!"

    Okay.

    I have no problem with this.  I'm also a big fan of Community, but I don't need to own it.  And I'm a DVD/Blu-ray collector!  Just because there are incredible fans, their numbers don't traditionally translate to guaranteed sales.  There are a few notable exceptions to this rule: Star Wars and Star Trek have particularly large followings that also sell a lot of product.  But even with all of the merchandise those franchise have sold, imagine the number of people who love them without ever having bought an action figure or book or collectible lithograph, etc.  The percentage of Brony fans willing to BUY a $29.99-$39.99 complete season set must be high enough to warrant us spending the thousands of dollars it takes to produce, manufacture and market the set.

    Here's the biggest catch of all.

    Every one of those sets need to have been sold within North America.  We are only the North American distributor for My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.  Hasbro has accepted our offer of an advance to license this show.  But they also have the option of accepting advances for licenses in every other territory in the world.  Again, while they're clearly creative and love the content, they're also a business that needs to profit in order to stay in business.  One of the best ways to do that is to break up the rights between territories.  Pesky to you, I understand.  But necessary to people like us.  After all, we don't want companies from other countries encroaching on what we paid a high price for.  So why should we encroach on another's territory?  Does that mean you can't buy it from Amazon or whatever?  Probably not.  From what I understand, Amazon couldn't care less where you live.  But we can't sell it to you directly, which is why...

    "...can't you just make it available online for fans?"

    There's another reason why we can't do this.  For starters, we don't have some lowly temp here to burn DVDs upon your request.  We manufacture everything we produce.  So that means there's a minimum number that has to be manufactured and, believe it or not, the fewer you make, the more expensive it is.  While I have no doubt there are enough Bronies out there to warrant a complete first season, are there enough that are A.) aware of the internet-only release? B.) Willing to buy an internet-only release?  C.) living in North America and willing to buy the internet-only release?  Again, believe it or not, not all Bronies hang out on the internet forums dedicated to My Little Pony.  Not all Bronies even realize they're called "Bronies."  If we can't get to them to let them know one of their favorite shows is available on DVD, how are we going to sell enough to validate spending the money and then expressly going against the wishes of the retailers, who've requested single discs releases that now have direct competition with a complete season set that's only available online?

    There's also the question of digital rights.  We're not guaranteed digital rights to every property we license.  We try.  God knows we try.  But studios are eager to keep those for themselves.  After all, it's yet another source of revenue for them.  Makes perfect sense.  I have no idea if we have the digital rights to these.  It's not my department.  If we do, maybe you'll see them appear on iTunes or something.  Not sure.  But, again, it would likely only be the episodes we're releasing at any given time.  Why would we want to compete with ourselves by providing you with the full season digitally, if we're in need of selling a high number of single-disc releases in order to continue making them??

    There are TONS of factors fans don't think about.  They just walk into Best Buy or Target and get upset when they see single-disc sets.  Or they don't see anything at all and that makes them even more upset.  They don't understand the money that goes into producing the series and they don't understand the money we need to make back in order to KEEP producing the series.

    Hasbro created a series for very young audiences.  Turns out adults like it, too.  But this isn't The Clone Wars.  Or even Transformers: Prime.  I'm sorry, gang.  But I just don't see a high liklihood that a "collectible" set for adult fans is going to get made anytime soon.  I'll happily cross my fingers for ya'.  I'm enjoying the show and would love to work on a more complete version.  But until something like that happens, I hope you enjoy the single disc releases as they're made available.

    Hope this helps answer some questions.

    Brian