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TK's MORNING BUZZ: The Timing of the DVD Seminar at the East Coast Video Show Coincided With Perhaps the Busiest Day Ever in DVD

11 Oct, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold

I caught up with Don Rosenberg last night on his cell phone around 8:30 East Coast time. "I'm working," he tersely stated. "I'm handing out tickets at the door."

And so it went, day two of the East Coast Video Show, produced by our parentcompany and with our people intricately involved in its operations.

The tickets Don Rosenberg, our illustrious group publisher, was handing outlast night were for the karaoke party, an annual institution at the EastCoast Video Show in which retailers let loose for several hours of freneticfun. I don't know if Don went up on stage -- and I don't think he'd tell me if he did -- but I'm sure our group sales director, Kimbirly Orr, had her moment in the spotlight, belting out some golden oldie with her own golden vocal chords.

Show traffic was a bit lighter than Tuesday but held steady; the big buzz, from what I hear, was at the DVD panel, moderated by our own Bruce Apar. Several people told me the room was jam-packed, which doesn't surpriseme -- Bruce and the panelists, who included DVD visionary Stephen Einhorn ofNew Line, are top-notch speakers, and the timing of the seminar coincided with what might have been the busiest day in DVD history.

Both Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and The Godfather gift set streeted Oct. 9, joining the still-hot The Mummy Returns in a potent troika on retailers' shelves. Suncoast sent out a press release, proclaiming that Oct. 9 was its busiest DVD sales day all year; Disney also sent out a release, claiming consumers snapped up 1 million copies of Snow White its first day in stores.

Apar also sprinkled in some of our own proprietary research on the rental endof the spectrum, courtesy of Judith McCourt, our market research director, who each week with her staff compiles the best, most authoritative rental data our industry has.

When I spoke with Don the karaoke party was just getting started, hence Donthe Usher. Just before retailers were treated to another annual event, theanime party, sponsored by the A18 Corp., A.D.V. Films, Central Park Media and Media Blasters. These guys are riding an awful hot product line, fueled by the Pokemon fad but now soaring quite nicely on its own momentum. I attended an anime convention in Long Beach, Calif., several months ago, and theturnout was phenomenal -- retailers who don't carry anime are leaving money onthe table, particularly now with DVD giving anime fans the best of both worlds (subtitled and dubbed, all on the same disc).

Even though Don's mind was on the karaoke party, he couldn't help but enthuseover the previous night's One Cool Night party thrown by USA Home Entertainment. Lots of odd-looking creatures roamed the floor and amusedguests, while a bevy of sports celebrities -- including the classy legend Satch Sanders of the Boston Celtics -- signed autographs.

"It was a phenomenal party, a real first-class affair," Don reported. "It was sort of like the VSDA parties of old. The crowd was really upbeat. Not only was it a fun party, but you really felt like it was years ago when peoplewere excited about the business and doing well. There was a real buzz in thatroom that I haven't felt in years."

Buzz. I like that.

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

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East Coast Video Show

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