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Disney + TV shows and the future of Star Wars on home video

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Sorry if this has been covered elsewhere but…
Ever since the announcement of The Mandalorian I can’t help but wonder about how likely it is we’ll see an official release of a lot of these new TV shows and “side story” projects on home video. It seems Disney is pretty committed to getting people to stream and not buy these shows, instead hoping fans will decide to shell out for the streaming service every month.
As a home video collector (like many on these forums) this frustrates me immensely. It just doesn’t seem to make good business sense for a mega-corporation like Disney to be missing out on all of the revenue that a home video release of The Mandalorian would no doubt generate.

I hope they do what Netflix sometimes do and once it’s a few years down the line and they figure they’ve got their streaming money they put it out on disc.

How likely do you think it is that these new streaming shows will turn up on disc and how long do you think it’ll be? I’m interested in what you all think.

Thanks to ALL members of the forum whose tireless preservation efforts have allowed me to watch the original films as I remember them.
You all rule.

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I’m a big collector of physical media too. My guess is once The Mandalorian is over - may run 4 seasons by the sound of it - we’ll get a release on Home Video. I wish it was sooner though!

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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I’ve been waiting for Mandalorian season 1 and Clone Wars season 7 on blu ray and digital.

I guess Disney sees the subscription as a renewable revenue stream, when you buy the Blu Ray you buy it once.

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The limited series will just be one season, so I think they have a better chance of showing up on disc sooner rather than later. I’d love The Mandalorian on disc, but I think we’re a long way from that, if ever.

I turn most streaming services on and off as needed, depending on their content, but I’m loving Disney+ and watch it all the time, and they’re just getting started really. I don’t think I’ll be canceling anytime soon, so there will definitely be many rewatches of The Mandalorian for me.

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Since this show is in 4K, I’d hope the set will also be in 4K if there ever is one. I don’t think there are other TV shows released in 4K besides GOT? Or they could even be cheeky to release The Mandalorian just on regular BD, and have the 4K only on streaming. It could go any way, really. I have my doubts.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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Why sell it to you on disc when they can get subscription fees forever?

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timdiggerm said:

Why sell it to you on disc when they can get subscription fees forever?

To get even more money?

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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I think home media is done for them, outside of the films anyway. Smaller profit margins, and less return payments/repurchases. It doesn’t make financial sense.

Netflix doesn’t release their originals on DVD/BD when they don’t have to. What happens is that other production companies produce those shows and films, then can release them separately from Netflix unless Netflix puts it in the contract not to. In these cases, another company is making more profit than just through Netflix, and Netflix still gets a cut.

For example, Disney doesn’t make money from the Marvel shows living on Netflix after the initial deal. They do make money off of iTunes/DVD/BD sales. Netflix let’s them do this, or Criterion release Marriage Story, etc. because they get a percentage of those profits too: everyone is making more money. But with something like Mandalorian, Disney makes all the money already from it streaming on D+. They don’t need to share with other companies or production costs of the physical media itself. They make more money by keeping it on their service only.

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The question, from a bean counter’s perspective is simple. If it is released on physical media, how much additional revenue will you pick up from people who do not have a subscription buying the discs versus how much revenue will you lose from people cancelling their subscriptions in favor of buying the discs? Unfortunately while the question is easy, the answer is not.

So who knows. But based on the rumblings from a while back about Disney corporate wanting to move away from physical media, I’d suspect getting many of these series on disc is not terribly likely. Which sucks. But like it or not, streaming is the future and physical media will continue to move into the collector/niche audio and videophile market. I just hope and pray that physical media can garner enough of a niche market to continue to be viable for many years to come, similar to how vinyl record sales have actually been increasing in the last few years.

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I mean, releasing it on physical media only gives non-subscribers a reason to not subscribe, while also making piracy easier (not that it’s completely prevented now), and production costs of the media itself eats into that revenue.

Disney’s big announcement to focus on DTC (Direct to Consumer; Disney+, Hulu, Star, ESPN+) should be seen as the official move away from prioritising theatrical and physical media releases. Not that they won’t happen, but the focus and company restructuring point at DTC now.

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timdiggerm said:

Why sell it to you on disc when they can get subscription fees forever?

Because I’ll buy it on disc and still keep my subscription.

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Disney+ piracy is already rampant without physical media. And if anything, the pirates get the better deal, because they actually get real, offline media files. I think it’s a shame we’ll never get to see this stuff at a higher bitrate.

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I mean, it’s not necessarily a better deal. Disney can continue to adjust their platform in attempts to prevent piracy, but anyone can rip a disc without any coding/hacking know-how or VPN capabilities. So, while those with the ability to rip from D+ may have “the better deal”, far less people are able to pirate and just end up subscribing.

Also, there’s more and more technology going out with tracking digital screeners (for awards season), where they can lay in video information specific to each person accessing the file to track down anyone who pirated it, without showing up to human eyes (though staying present in transcodes). It’s not likely robust enough for all of Disney+‘s subscribers just yet, but in a couple years it likely will be.

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Let’s say The Mandalorian lasts 4 seasons. Who is going to subscribe to Disney+ solely because of The Mandalorian after that? If they want to get more money out of that show, the only way is to make it available on physical media. If they do that, do you really think they would lose subscriptions at that point with 37 new shows coming up already?

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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Hmm, so far no streaming service has managed to stop piracy. It doesn’t necessarily matter how difficult they make it for an individual to rip content, since as long as there’s some scene group somewhere who successfully works around their protection, the resulting files get shared just as readily as they would have if they had come from a traditional physical source. It’s those piracy “end-users” I was referring to as getting the better deal - as it currently stands, they can just visit some site and get a permanent .mkv of the latest Mando episode within hours of airing. Meanwhile here in the UK we didn’t even start to get the first season of Mando until after the entire season finished in the US, which I’m still salty about…

If they do eventually start hiding some kind of unremovable trace of the identity of the user who rips the episode, it just begins an endless whack-a-mole for them.

There’s also the fanediting angle. I know Fanedit.org refuses to allow fanedits for anything without a physical release, but elsewhere there’s a lot of ROTS x TCW Siege of Mandalore edits, even though the Siege of Mandalore doesn’t have a physical release yet. Those faneditors could be buying and ripping their own discs if Disney would make that an option.

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Rodney-2187 said:

timdiggerm said:

Why sell it to you on disc when they can get subscription fees forever?

Because I’ll buy it on disc and still keep my subscription.

Right, that’s me too. Disney can have even more of my cash and I’m sure I won’t be alone in that. JakeRyan: Thanks for your input about how some of the netflix releases work on home video. I think it’s a possibility that Mando will turn up when it’s all finished airing like others here have said. A lot of my friends with similar interests are subscribing purely for the Star Wars/Marvel stuff at the moment and I’m sure there’s other people out there doing the same so when all that has aired their revenue streams might dry up a little and they might look to putting stuff on disc.

Hope it’s before then though.

Thanks to ALL members of the forum whose tireless preservation efforts have allowed me to watch the original films as I remember them.
You all rule.

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LexX said:

Let’s say The Mandalorian lasts 4 seasons. Who is going to subscribe to Disney+ solely because of The Mandalorian after that? If they want to get more money out of that show, the only way is to make it available on physical media. If they do that, do you really think they would lose subscriptions at that point with 37 new shows coming up already?

That’s the point though, they keep adding new content to keep it going, but let’s say someone hates the new show but still loves Mando: they’re more likely to keep D+ (especially if there’s one other thing they’re curious about it enjoy) if there’s nowhere else to get it.

That continued subscription then encourages those people to watch other shows, since they’re already paying for it, etc. It keeps their content being talked about which keeps drawing in new subscribers. That’s how they make the real money, without having to pay for production of physical media. They get a larger percentage of more sales.

sade1212 said:

Hmm, so far no streaming service has managed to stop piracy. It doesn’t necessarily matter how difficult they make it for an individual to rip content, since as long as there’s some scene group somewhere who successfully works around their protection, the resulting files get shared just as readily as they would have if they had come from a traditional physical source. It’s those piracy “end-users” I was referring to as getting the better deal - as it currently stands, they can just visit some site and get a permanent .mkv of the latest Mando episode within hours of airing. Meanwhile here in the UK we didn’t even start to get the first season of Mando until after the entire season finished in the US, which I’m still salty about…

If they do eventually start hiding some kind of unremovable trace of the identity of the user who rips the episode, it just begins an endless whack-a-mole for them.

There’s also the fanediting angle. I know Fanedit.org refuses to allow fanedits for anything without a physical release, but elsewhere there’s a lot of ROTS x TCW Siege of Mandalore edits, even though the Siege of Mandalore doesn’t have a physical release yet. Those faneditors could be buying and ripping their own discs if Disney would make that an option.

It’s still fewer people making the original rip, which means fewer people to track down to have the content removed from.

Localisation is a whole other thing. I too wish release dates were universal, but there’s a lot more to that. There are other contracts in place between media companies and governments that simply make it complicated. Even now, Disney+ and AppleTV+ are risking becoming unavailable in the EU because not enough of their content is produced there.

Disney isn’t exactly supportive of fan editing, at least not the people who are in charge of those decisions… none of whom are at LFL, it’s out of their jurisdiction. It’s a distribution call, and the entire company just restructured the entire way they do business to focus on DTC.

And at the end of the day, streaming has made the amount of piracy that takes place go down. Some people still do it, and always will, but far more people pay for streaming services continuously than buy physical media. It’s more profit with less risk and less cost.

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JakeRyan17 said:

LexX said:

Let’s say The Mandalorian lasts 4 seasons. Who is going to subscribe to Disney+ solely because of The Mandalorian after that? If they want to get more money out of that show, the only way is to make it available on physical media. If they do that, do you really think they would lose subscriptions at that point with 37 new shows coming up already?

That’s the point though, they keep adding new content to keep it going, but let’s say someone hates the new show but still loves Mando: they’re more likely to keep D+ (especially if there’s one other thing they’re curious about it enjoy) if there’s nowhere else to get it.

Years after it’s finished? Unlikely, or just unwise.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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LexX said:

JakeRyan17 said:

LexX said:

Let’s say The Mandalorian lasts 4 seasons. Who is going to subscribe to Disney+ solely because of The Mandalorian after that? If they want to get more money out of that show, the only way is to make it available on physical media. If they do that, do you really think they would lose subscriptions at that point with 37 new shows coming up already?

That’s the point though, they keep adding new content to keep it going, but let’s say someone hates the new show but still loves Mando: they’re more likely to keep D+ (especially if there’s one other thing they’re curious about it enjoy) if there’s nowhere else to get it.

Years after it’s finished? Unlikely, or just unwise.

People subscribed to Netflix for years and only watched The Office and Friends. It’s more common than you’d think… and the people who don’t want to rewatch the show won’t be buying the physical media anyway.

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JakeRyan17 said:

LexX said:

JakeRyan17 said:

LexX said:

Let’s say The Mandalorian lasts 4 seasons. Who is going to subscribe to Disney+ solely because of The Mandalorian after that? If they want to get more money out of that show, the only way is to make it available on physical media. If they do that, do you really think they would lose subscriptions at that point with 37 new shows coming up already?

That’s the point though, they keep adding new content to keep it going, but let’s say someone hates the new show but still loves Mando: they’re more likely to keep D+ (especially if there’s one other thing they’re curious about it enjoy) if there’s nowhere else to get it.

Years after it’s finished? Unlikely, or just unwise.

People subscribed to Netflix for years and only watched The Office and Friends. It’s more common than you’d think… and the people who don’t want to rewatch the show won’t be buying the physical media anyway.

I think you’re just posting to disagree. I don’t see how they would lose money at that point at all.

And in the time of greatest despair, there shall come a savior, and he shall be known as the Son of the Suns.

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Because it costs money to make and market physical media, and the profits make have to pay that off and the remainder has to be shared with retailers. It’s nowhere near as worth it, when they can simply have more profit from controlling the entire pipeline themselves and not sharing profit with anyone else.

We all what a physical media release, but people keep bringing up what would be outliers when the average fan will just keep the subscription. It may not even sell enough physical copes for them to make their money back off of physical media production.

So, the heart of your question is, why don’t they go away from their new business model to potentially split their profits by competing with themselves, sharing their profits, and spending more money before any profit can be seen, instead of the new model where they get all of the profits and people are constantly being exposed to their other content to keep them bringing in profit, and becoming word-of-mouth marketing for the service? There’s no reason for them to go back to higher risk and lower profits.