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DVD Is Safe in the Hands of the Geeks

4 Aug, 2004 By: Jessica Wolf

Call them geeks if you want to. I do, though not to their faces.

Tens and tens of thousands of them rolled out two weekends ago to San Diego, Calif., far too many of them dressed as their favorite superhero or anime character.

I went to several DVD-centric events at Comic-Con, and the vibe I got just reiterated to me how important these geeks are to our business.

They vote with their dollars. They will loyally spend their money on product if you deliver what they want.

They're really the backbone of the reason DVD has been so successful, and just because most of the rest of the world has caught on to fill out the frame, make no mistake — they're still holding up their end.

I listened to horror fans cheer at a director who told them to expect more gore on his upcoming DVDs. I watched Lord of the Rings fans shriek and almost faint at the glimpse of New Line's upcoming Return of the King Extended Edition DVD.

I heard from another attendee (though I wasn't there) that when George Lucas unveiled the title of Star Wars: Episode III “it was like heads were exploding” in the packed audience nearly 10,000 strong who stampeded when they learned T-shirts with the new name “Revenge of the Sith” were on sale in the exhibit hall nearby.

They spend their money on what entertainment content providers dish out for the properties that mean the most to them.

And if you treat them with respect, like New Line has since day one with their “Lord of the Rings” DVD release strategy, they will keep coming back for more.

I find it kind of comforting to know that the geeks are still at the epicenter of the DVD world, at least when it comes to discernment.

Sure bargain-basement pricing has brought Wal-Mart shoppers to the forefront in the past few years. But I, for one, am glad to know and was glad to see such a strong studio presence at the comic book convention. It shows that what the geeks think still matters.

And what matters to the geeks is DVD quality. As long as studios are still paying heed to that, we should be seeing some really terrific product for some time to come.

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