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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Are We Raising a New Generation of Home Entertainment Consumers Who Would Just as Soon Buy as Rent?

27 Jun, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Are we raising a new generation of home entertainment consumers who would just as soon buy as rent?

With movies now available on DVD, jam-packed with special features and readily available for sale for less than $20, we're truly in a video buyer's market.

Case in point: A recent e-mail from a regular reader of this column who overheard a conversation between two pre-teen boys at a local Best Buy store.

The young fellows were looking to buy a copy of Dude, Where's My Car. The reader -- a video specialty retailer -- wondered whether this was indicative of a trend in which youngsters are becoming accustomed to buying rather than renting new movies, "just as they would buy a new toy."

Good point, and one with more than a shred of validity. There are four points to be considered, all pointing in the same direction.

First, by adding special features to DVDs, studios are getting out of the used movie business and creating a new product that takes a lot more time to digest than a standard VHS copy of a movie. The more there is to digest, the greater the incentive to purchase rather than rent -- particularly if the price is low enough.

Second, DVD players are rapidly penetrating U.S. households to the point where we're starting to see multiple DVD-player homes. The first DVD player goes to the family room; the second winds up in somebody's (invariably the kids') bedroom. When her second VCR went on the blink, one of my colleagues here at Video Store Magazine even bought a DVD player for her three-year-old.

The third factor is the swelling tide of multi-use devices such as PlayStation 2, which is a game machine but also a DVD player. With each PlayStation 2 machine sold, there's one more DVD player in a kid's bedroom.

Finally, consider the price. You can now buy the latest hit theatrical movie for just a few bucks more than a CD. And you get a lot more for your money.

The advent of DVD has made buying movies for the home practical, economical and logical -- even for kids on a tight allowance.

Comments? Contact TK directly at:TKArnold@aol.com

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