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Name Change Reflects Redefined Concept of Home Media

15 Dec, 2004 By: Jessica Wolf

Next month, Video Store Magazine changes its name to Home Media Retailing. As I visited the homes of my mother, sister, grandparents and aunt/uncle over the recent Thanksgiving holiday, I realized how appropriate the phrase “home media” is in the current home entertainment market and the one we are heading into.

When I was growing up, home entertainment meant TV — network TV — because we weren't allowed to have cable. When VCRs got cheap enough, my mother offered the family the option of either getting cable or buying a VCR because “why do we need both?”

In today's home entertainment market, it's clear we do need both … and more. It's all about different entertainment media working together — oh, I'll just say it — converging. There are few consumers anymore with that either/or mentality (not even my mother, who currently has digital cable, several DVD players, a VCR and is angling for an MP3 player in her stocking this Christmas).

DVD hardware manufacturers were hip to this idea of home entertainment as “media” from the get-go, ensuring players were available that could playback CD and MP3 formats as well as DVD. Cable suppliers offer packages with Internet connectivity and personal video recording for subscribers, and consumers take advantage of it.

These days, entertainment in the home encompasses so many different mediums and medias — from cable/satellite programming, to Internet connectivity, to all the different gaming options, to DVD and digital video recorders — it's not just about video anymore, though it's still an intrinsic part of the whole home media experience.

Take a look around the homes of your own friends and loved ones these days. Their software collections are growing, and their hardware players are more numerous and more sophisticated with each new purchase, with each new replacement of old systems. And it's not just DVD they're diving into — computer technology and music, both traditional CDs as well as new alternative ways of delivering and enjoying music content are part of their home media mix. The computer has become as important an entertainment medium to the music lover as the CD player is. The same thought is likely to apply to film and video content in the future.

Changing our name to Home Media Retailing is our way of representing not only how we have changed the magazine already to cover much of this transition, but our commitment to expanding our coverage of the all-encompassing nature of today's home entertainment consumer.

As industry watchers, we spend a lot of time observing, dissecting and discussing the ways that consumer electronics manufacturers and content suppliers of all stripes are interacting with, relating to and providing for the present and future needs of their avid customers. Our name change allows us to further embrace that role as the landscape of our industry continues to grow and change.

We're all evolving toward an exciting future.

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