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Our Readers Keep Us Going

Thomas K. Arnold

By Thomas K. Arnold | Posted: February 04, 2009

I like to think of Home Media Magazine as a mirror of the industry it covers. When times are good, we are fat with ads from the major studios and independent DVD/Blu-ray Disc suppliers, allowing us to devote more pages to bringing you the information, tools and resources you need to thrive in this business. When times are tough, as they are now, we slim down, as the leaner, meaner home video distributors look to cut costs and inevitably position us in their crosshairs.

The good news is that for the most part, studio executives “get” our value proposition. Trade magazines, after all, are a lot more than mere selling tools. We share the exact same customer base as our studio and independent-supplier clients: Our primary readers are retailers in the business of selling and renting DVDs and Blu-ray Discs. And for the past 30 years, these retailers have relied on us to tell them what’s going on in their business and to help them make their buying decisions. Studio sales calls are fine and good, but there’s nothing like third-party corroboration. Think about your own hobby, whether it’s photography or gardening. Before you buy something, you’re going to do your own research instead of relying on the guy at the camera store or the nursery.

We have no vested interest in trying to sell you something. We tell it like it is — which is why you value us.

Over the last few weeks, we’ve had a number of conversations with some of our readers, and despite the belt-tightening all around us, you’ve made us feel quite good about ourselves. To paraphrase Sally Field, you like us, you really like us — but, more importantly, you really do rely on us and our entire suite of products, from our print magazine to our Web site, from our daily e-newsletter to our online screening room.

Some of you have likened us to a personal advisor; others see us as a trusted friend. In either case, readers have said we have become a necessary part of your daily business regimen, and while you might not always like what you see in the mirror, you keep looking, regardless.

Do me a favor — next time you’re speaking with your studio rep, please drop a few kind words on our behalf. The more important we are to you, the reader, the more important we become to the studios. Like every business these days, we’d like to fatten up a little. Our readers hold the keys to the pantry.

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