Ribs wrote:I think there's a fairly substantial difference in demand for a title that's been announced for six months vs a title that was announced for three months, released, and out for three months, though.
It's a bit more complicated than this since Arrow LEs system seems tailored to very quickly sells out, including before release date, so if the LE is still around 3 months after release date, well, that's already an outlier.
So there either is demand during pre-orders, or the LE is basically going to take months and months and months to sell out.
LE is a way to push early sales. These early sales are mostly performed when on pre-order. It thus seem legitimate to capture the figures since the opening of the pre-orders. It also makes sense from a customer point of view, because it means customers had X days to pass their (pre-)orders.
To get the Battles without Honor set, customers had about 172 days to pass an order. To get the Suzuki Vol. 1 set, they had about 174 days. If you don't use this but use instead the release date, people had 56 days to pass an order for the Battles set, but had -4 days for the Suzuki set. To me, this doesn't reflect properly the customer ordering window.
Including early sales through pre-orders might thus be the most important thing to do to properly capture the sales potential and pace. Out of the 46 UK sold out LEs I've monitored, the utmost majority of them spent more time being available for pre-order than for order post-release date, with 11 of them being sold out before or on release date. 12 were sold out within a month (31 days) after their release date. Only 15 were available longer after than before their release dates (and 9 of these are Arrow longest-to-sell-out LEs, most by a veeeeery long shot - we're talking about 2 to 3 years to sell out -).
So, since the time spent by the releases under their pre-order days is the dominant part of so many of these LEs, it seems fair to me to capture these sales that way (see again the Suzuki vs Battles example).
It's a question of when you can start reserve your product, and to me, it's at the announcement date when the pre-orders are opened. That's when I, as a customer, can start having some kind of access to the product, so it makes sense to use this as a Day 1.
AidanKing wrote:It's obviously working for Arrow, but is planning for something to sell out completely before it has actually been released a sensible way for films to be made available, especially if you might want to introduce a particular director or film to new viewers, who are more likely to wait for the reviews before deciding to purchase a particular item?
How much of the sales (or sales speed) are coming from the fact that they're limited editions, not because of scalpers etc, but as consumers, as not being that much interested in these but buying them for fear to miss out ? What if constraining batch sizes actually helped getting more customers, by pushing the sales sometimes at a higher point than the movies own potential ? How many releases are bought out of curiosity AND the fear of missing out ?
For instance, Arrow still has about 2000 copies of the Phantasm set. At the set average pace, it's going to take at least 3 months to shift them. But the pace actually is slower : it took them 7 months to sell 1000 copies !
What would have happened if the set was limited to less than 10 000, say 8 000 ? It would have been sold out months ago.
While it certainly limits the total amount of possible viewers, in some cases, it might actually help the total amount of copies to find a customer.