They might be called on-line coupons but at the end of the day they’re pretty much the same thing your mother clips from the newspaper. Be that as it may, the major film studios are looking to printable on-line coupons to goose DVD sales.
For the recent release of the Ben Affleck vehicle Daredevil, for example, online consumers can get a $5-off coupon from Fox’s website. The studio’s deal with Coupons Inc. limits the number that can be printed to 50,000. UPC bar codes will prevent consumers trying to use the same coupon more than once. The Walt Disney Co. is also a client of Coupons Inc. Partly because first-week sales of DVDs are becoming as big a bragging point as first-weekend box office numbers, the studios are looking for any way to goose early sales. So online coupons, like their old-school counterparts, have aggressive expiration dates. Fox execs say it will be 90 days before the effectiveness of the coupons will be known with respect to Daredevil sales. After that they’ll decide whether to make the technique a regular part of the studio’s DVD sales efforts.