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Time to Turn Up the Volume on Music Video

28 Mar, 2005 By: Kurt Indvik

The CD is dead. Long live music DVD. Well, okay, perhaps that's an exaggeration. Globally, music DVD is about 8 percent of the total music market, according to estimates from Informa. (It's only 4.7 percent of the U.S. market.) And, yes, CD shipments have enjoyed about a 5 percent uptick in 2004, according to recent data from the Recording Industry Association of America.

But there's no mistaking where the momentum is, and it's in the marriage of music and video. Music video revenue rose more than 26 percent in 2004, while the volume of music DVD releases made up more than 12 percent of all DVD releases in 2004, according to Informa and the DVD Release Report, respectively.

This week, music label and retail execs are gathering for the Music DVD Conference to focus on how to keep music DVD growing. The event is produced by Home Media Retailing in cooperation with The DEG: Digital Entertainment Group, The Hollywood Reporter and the Video Software Dealers Association.

So what will it take to see music DVD grow? It seems the labels are ready and willing to develop titles. Major retailers aren't shy about giving music DVD shelf space. And yet, music DVD accounts for only about 3 percent of total U.S. video sales, according to Home Media Research estimates.

There are a combination of things that may grow sales for music DVD. First, labels must put more marketing muscle behind music DVD releases, and sooner. Retailers, who have played with merchandising for music DVD (and SACD and DVD-Audio, and now DualDisc), must continue to find the right combination of both giving music DVD its own prominent floor presence, while co-promoting an artist's full range of music and music video product no matter in which section of the store a consumer looks for that artist. We can also count on the growing installed base of home theater systems to continue to drive more interest in music video.

And while there's no argument that the launches of DVD-Audio and SACD have failed to catch fire with the public, the more accessible DualDisc and growing use of two-disc combo CD + DVD packages will contribute to a general greater awareness of music video in all its various formats.
The momentum is with music video. Now is the time for both the labels and retailers to turn up the volume on this growing category.

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