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Prices & Discounts
What do your video programs cost?
Each program is priced differently, depending on length, subject
matter and, in some cases, the circumstances of production. Some
prices are set for us by our suppliers. Consult our catalogs or
fliers, or this website, for the latest price information. Most
of our programs are priced between $100 and $250 dollars. This is
consistent with the fact that they are intended for use as educational
or training materials, and will be screened for multiple audiences,
usually over a considerable number of years.
Why are your videos so expensive? Why are your videos so cheap?
Believe it or not, we get both questions. Five or ten years ago,
the average price for an educational film or video was in the vicinity
of $400 to $600, depending on length. That reflected both the higher
cost of 16mm film compared to video, and the market conditions at
that time. Since then, average prices have come down as the number
of media buyers has grown, but the market for educational media
has not expanded nearly as much as some people had predicted, and
certainly not enough for titles like ours to be priced as low as
home videos currently are. As you'll see from our catalog section,
most of our programs are now priced at between $99 and $199, with
a few highly topical "best sellers" and multi-film packages being
priced as high as $399, and some older titles priced lower. We,
and most of our customers, feel that this price structure is fair
But I can buy Harry Potter for $9.95...
So is there anything we can do to keep our media costs
Educational media pricing may be hard to understand when you can
walk into your local Walmart and purchase big-budget Hollywood spectaculars
(as well as exercise and how-to tapes) for $14.95 or less. Most
Hollywood films make the bulk of their revenues from theatrical,
television and cable distribution; for them, home video sales are
just "gravy." Moreover, Spielberg, Disney and Fonda have a potential
market of millions of consumers, while special-interest programs
like those we handle (on subjects such as disabilities, mental illness,
healthcare, death and dying) have a much smaller audience, and therefore
must make back their production and marketing costs from a substantially
smaller number of sales. An exceptionally successful educational
video will do well to sell a couple of thousand copies in its lifetime.
Video production is expensive. A high quality half-hour to hour-long program can easily cost $75150,000 and more than a few in our catalog have had budgets of over a quarter million dollars. While these higher-budget projects have generally had PBS, foundation, or institutional sponsorship, this is rarely enough to cover the total production cost. In almost every case we are aware of, the producers of our programs are at least partially dependent on their distribution revenues to pay off their production debts and to enable them to stay alive while getting their next production off the ground.
Educational distribution is expensive as well; the startup costs for each new release can easily be $510,000 or more, and the ongoing costs of marketing and promotion go up each year. We market primarily to institutional purchasers (hospitals, universities, government agencies, professional associations, and so on) and our programs are used in teaching or training contexts, for curriculum enrichment, or as discussion tools for group discussions and public meetings. Such organizations recognize the continuing value of these videos, and expect to show them to numbers of viewers, over a considerable period of time.
We also encourage
customers to think of the costs of video in relation to other things
they spend money on: A $195 video program costs about the same as
two toner cartridges for an office copier, a batch of letterhead
stationery, or (in downtown Boston anyway) a couple of parking tickets.
Textbooks today can easily cost $100150 apiece and each student
in a given class will need their own. In this context, $199249
for a video which will be used by the entire class, and shown year
after year, is a bargain.
Obviously, everyone today is concerned with controlling costs. Take
advantage of our quantity discounts and special
offers. In addition to our standard discount offers we are sometimes
able, on a case by case basis, to offer additional discounts to smaller,
grassroots organizations. Write us a note on your group's letterhead
explaining your situation, and we'll see what we can do. One thing
people in many institutions can do is to share the cost of building
a video library with other departments. Some community organizations
have been able to persuade their public library to add a desired tape
to its circulating collection.
What discounts are available?
From time to time during the year we offer other special discounts
through our publications, at conferences or trade shows, and via
this website. Discounts may also be available on bulk purchases.
Public Library discounts and K-12 discounts are also available for
all titles. Click
here for information about these discounts and other current internet
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