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TK's MORNING BUZZ: DVD is It, and It's Going to Remain 'It' for the Foreseeable Future, Maybe Forever

12 Nov, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Blockbuster bus ads touting the chain's stepped-up DVD commitment. Wal-MartTV ads in which a guy fans a "deck" of DVDs. Indies like Dave Stevenson, vowing to turn their stores into DVD-only emporiums.

The VHS cassette may have a lot of life left in it, but you surely wouldn't know it from the DVD hype. Even DreamWorks' press release, touting the fact that retailers sold nearly 7 million copies of Shrek the first threedays the title was in stores, was twisted by the media to focus on the DVD aspect -- 2.5million copies sold in three days -- while the VHS component was largelyignored.

What if the DVD juggernaut slows? I'm convinced DVD will ultimately, eventually triumph, but I'm a bit concerned that if the current explosive growth rate slows, the current crop of DVD cheerleaders may prove as fickle as San Diego Chargers fans.

I remember what happened in the third quarter -- sales were up, double digits,from the third quarter of 2000, but they were down slightly the second quarter. No matter that this was a seasonal variance, expected and anticipated by all in the business.

No, we saw a series of "sky is falling" articles, and all of a sudden JVC's quixotic quest to bring us digital videotape was given a quick blast of artificial life.

Tape is so yesterday. DVD is the ultimate packaged medium, and will survive and thrive. DVD is state of the art, DVD is permanent; over the years, it may improve (the famed "blue-laser" standard is right around the corner) but I believe its basic form, shape, size and concept will persevere.

I don't see discs getting any smaller -- collectors would rebel. DVD isn't simply about storage, or else you'd see all these lavish double-disc sets coming out on a single disc. DVD is home entertainment's hardcover first edition and paperback all rolled up in one -- collectible and convenient,permanent and portable.

DVD is it, and it's certainly going to remain it for the foreseeable future, maybe forever -- enduring through the ages, just like books, just like bullets.

Still, I wish the hype would soften up a touch. Expect too much and you're bound to be disappointed by the slightest little blip.

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

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