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TK's MORNING BUZZ: Will DVD-Audio Be the Savior for Music That DVD-Video Has Been for Video Retailers?

28 Feb, 2001 By: Thomas K. Arnold


It's funny how DVD is emerging as the savior of so many things.

It's the savior to the studios who were fearfully watching their once-escalating home video revenues flatten in the late 1990s.

It's the savior to video specialists whose VHS rental business is going down the tubes thanks to Blockbuster's aggressive grab for more market share.

It's the savior to music chains who now have a lucrative antidote to sluggish music sales.

And it's the savior to replicators whose CD business was beginning to dry up.

It sort of makes you wonder, what's going to come next?

When the CD first hit, it was considered the ultimate vehicle for packaged music, far better than the vinyl LP and the audiocassette. No surface noise, no pops or clicks, no fragile tape easily broken or easily erased. The CD was it.

A decade and a half later, the CD's obituary is already being prepared. Neil Young publicly blasts the tiny disc as a premature "mistake" and throws his support behind this newfangled format called DVD-Audio, which faithfully replicates the sound, the feel, the vibrations of a live performance (a claim, I should point out, that CD backers made as well a mere 15 years ago).

Cynics are still debating whether or not DVD-Audio will make it, but rest assured, it will. Not only that, but it's going to be big. Real big. And I'd bet my entire year's salary that we're going to see the "CD syndrome" all over again, with consumers tossing out their inferior old CDs and rebuilding their libraries with DVD-Audio discs as quickly as replicators can churn them out.

DVD-Video, meanwhile, is still enjoying the unequaled popularity, the unqualified adulation, of a small-town homecoming queen.

But sooner or later, something else will emerge to take its place in the spotlight. It's happened with all media, and it's going to happen again.


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

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