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A Library of Hidden Gems

20 Jun, 2006 By: Stephanie Prange

This weekend, while testing out my husband's new digital receiver, we watched I, Robot again. It took some doing to figure out just how to get the right audio (a problem many HDTV and digital receiver buyers are likely having as well). However, once we got it hooked up correctly, I Robot digitally blew us away. I had forgotten what an entertaining film it was. In fact, the kids watched it two or three times over the weekend.

While the DVD business has focused its attention of late on new releases — as just about everything in the catalog has hit DVD — I think some clever marketing could well help consumers rediscover or discover for the first time recent hits that they may not have collected.

Netflix and Amazon have been clever in adopting the “if you liked this, you may also like” technique. I'm not seeing that same kind of creative marketing on DVD shelves.

Most DVD merchants concentrate on the latest releases, ignoring a vast library of DVDs waiting to find the right buyer. While Netflix and Amazon have the advantage of unlimited shelf space, it certainly wouldn't hurt the brick-and-mortar trade to embrace some of their marketing techniques, if on a smaller scale. If you like V for Vendetta, you might like I, Robot or Minority Report. Stores will have to work harder to market a mature DVD business if it is to continue to thrive.

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