Wednesday, 12 September 2012

67 Amazon reviews for a yet to be released DVD...

The BBC London 2012 Olympics DVD box set will consist of 5 discs of Olympics highlights and ceremonies.  It is to be released on 29th October 2012, but it already has 67 reviews on Amazon - the majority of which are based on heresay and guesswork...

BBC London 2012 Olympics DVD on Amazon - on sale 29th October 2012

BBC London 2012 Olympics DVD Amazon reviews
BBC London 2012 Olympics DVD on Amazon - with 3.6 rating

The DVD is on Amazon here: London 2012 Olympic Games [DVD] and of the 67 Amazon reviews 31 are 5 star and 16 are 1 star, leading to an average review score of 3.6 out of 5 - even though none of these reviewers have actually seen the product or product details yet!

Reading through the reviews is informative though and the reviews for the BBC Olympics DVD roughly fall into 3 categories:

1) Joke reviews


"Reviewing unreleased DVDs is funCompared to the official DVD of the 2016 Olympics, this is utter rubbish. My all time favourite, however, has to be official DVD of the 2028 Olympics: that is a real gem. If you're torn between which to buy, then definitely 2028 is the one to go for. Strangely, I've searched all over the Amazon site, but can't find it listed. Come on BBC, pull your finger out! When I do track it down, I'm sure there'll be plenty of good reviews."

2) Reviews hoping to influence final product


"Perhaps we can influence the content?
Clearly we cannot review a product BEFORE it's been released but (and perhaps I'm naive) it would be nice to think we could help influence the BBC to edit it appropriately. If so, here's my 'starter for 10'..."
[The most common request is for a 'no commentary' option for the Opening Ceremony]

3) Complaints about Amazon allowing pre-release reviewers


"To all the psychics who've given a review
[To Amazon] I would like to protest very strongly against, and ask you to remove, all of the reviews for both the DVD and Blu-ray versions of the forthcoming release of the Olympic Games, which, of course, should include this one. These reviews give a totally false impression of what the product might be like. Unlike with movies or television programmes there is no way of knowing in advance as to what the product will be like...

- The joke reviews potentially generate additional attention for the listing as creators show off their contributions (for the London 2012 Olympics the reviews around the Wenlock mascot policeman figureine perhaps best show how this can work... here:

- Within these (and the other 64) reviews there is feedback that can be useful and potentially fed into final product / future versions of the product.  For example, in the case of the BBC Olympics DVD there are clear themes evident around commentary options + also a number of non-UK reviewers (USA and Australia primarily) asking for the BBC to release region-free DVDs and Blu Ray discs. The review section effectively giving focus group type feedback - companies who are set up to listen can tune into this and use this type of information to their advantage.

However, there is a wider issue with reviews being contributed before product release.  The feedback may be interesting for a publisher / creator, but I am not sure the review section on Amazon should be the place for pre-release commentary primarily based on assumption?  Time and again we see reviews influencing purchase behaviour (in my book I quoted a Forrester stat that reported that '96% of online retailers who offered customer ratings / reviews on their website improved conversions') and reviews persist long after they are created - could the existence of reviews and ratings of people who have never seen the product positively / adversely affect sales when the product is actually released?

In the case of the BBC Olympics DVD I'm sure there will be more than enough sales / reviews on release for the pre-release reviews to be cancelled out, but in other cases the reviews of people who have not seen the product could be more noticeable.  Another demonstration of the value of Listening and (potentially) Responding in channels that facilitate the comments of the public and user generated content...

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1 comment:

Louise Lorenzo said...

Reviews sure do help potential clients to make up their mind. Before I purchase something, I read the reviews first.