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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Attendance for This Year's East Coast Video Show Was Surprisingly Up, Given Recent Downs

12 Oct, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Another East Coast Video Show is history now and organizers are buoyantly reporting that preliminary attendance figures indicate 5% to 6% more people made the trek to Atlantic City, N.Y. for this year's show than last year -- a surprising statistic, given the down economy and widespread travel fear in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the United States.

Video Store Magazine's group publisher, Don Rosenberg, talked with dozens of people during the show's three-day run. "People kept saying, 'I need to get out, I need to be here," he reports.

Indeed, savvy retailers realize the value of networking -- the prime benefit of any trade event, in my book -- can never be downplayed; top British video specialist Michael Senker even flew across the ocean specifically to be in Atlantic City for the show.

Reports from the home video front are cheery. DVD's fourth quarter got off better than even the most optimistic projections, with two studios claiming their respective starters -- Universal's The Mummy Returns and Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs -- chalked up consumer sales of more than 1 million units their first day in stores.

One title, one day, 1 million units. Was it really just four years ago that Columbia TriStar's Air Force One sent DVD enthusiasts into a tizzy by shipping 100,000 units?

Best of all, the pie keeps getting bigger. Analysts are reassessing their notion that the new breed of DVD buyers who pay less than $200 for a machine won't purchase many discs. While there is a dropoff compared to the early adopters, it isn't nearly as significant as most experts predicted, fueling speculation that we're seeing a sea change in consumer habits in which people would just as soon buy a movie as they would a CD -- something that never quite came about in the VHS days.

On top of that, reliable studio sources are now predicting rental revenues --VHS and DVD, combined -- could be up by around 12% during the fourth quarter.

"We've talked about the pie getting bigger for years," one studio executive told me last night. "It finally is."

What a great way to end the show!

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

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East Coast Video Show

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