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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Some Recommended New Year's Resolutions for Players in the Home Entertainment Industry

3 Jan, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Happy New Year to all of you. In my first column of the year, continuing a practice I began years ago in my print column, I will provide you with some recommended new year's resolutions for various players in the home entertainment industry.

For studio executives:

I will take a serious look at my year-end numbers and realize that the independent retail channel is still important to my bottom line, at least for rental product. Accordingly, I hereby resolve to 1) put an end to complex copy-depth formulas in favor of a more reasonable unit price; 2) strike the words "goal," "bonus goods" and "multiplier" from my vocabulary; and 3) do whatever it takes in my next round of negotiations with Blockbuster to put the revenue-sharing genie back into the bottle and come up with an equitable buying model that works for all retailers.

For independent video retailers:

I hereby resolve to no longer automatically bash everything that Blockbuster does. I realize that maybe, just maybe, there's something I can learn from watching Big Blue; that perhaps some elements of Blockbuster's long-term strategy, such as diversification, are actually smart business decisions, and instead of complaining about them I should learn from them.

I also resolve to either close or move underperforming stores instead of continuing to pour good money after bad. There's no shame in giving up part of your kingdom if it means saving the crown.

For mass merchants:

I hereby resolve to stop lowballing the price on new DVDs. This past fourth quarter, all of us would have made a lot more profits had we sold DVDs for more than $13.99. We really didn't need to go that low--consumer demand was there, and we just kissed away a ton of money.

For music retailers:

I hereby resolve to focus even more on DVD, given the discouraging signs for music sales.

For video distributors:

I hereby resolve to either fight like hell against studios trimming down their distribution networks or else let Ingram buy me out. No more sitting on the sidelines, doing nothing, while the ship is sinking.

For backers of video-on-demand:

I hereby resolve to get a good night's sleep and stop issuing those ridiculous pronouncements that VOD is about to kill the video store.

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

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