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Video Saves the Radio Star

5 May, 2003 By: Stephanie Prange

I can't recall hearing a radio disc jockey discuss music on videocassette before the advent of DVD. But I've heard them talk about music DVD several times. While listening to a classic rock station just a few weeks ago, I heard a deejay mention the high anticipation for a Led Zeppelin DVD set, noting rare, unseen footage that complements the music. I've also heard the acts themselves highlight DVDs packaged with their CD releases and encourage music fans to buy the CD to get the DVD extra instead of downloading the album illegally.

Whether it's a marketing tactic, a phenomenon driven by the market or simply the fact that record companies are more comfortable with shiny little discs, the music industry is increasingly using DVD to sell music, treating it as an ace in the hole against file-trading.

Robert Mugge, director of the music documentary Last of the Mississippi Jukes, told Video Store reporter Jessica Wolf “Being able to add nice packaging and added material helps a little to combat this looming industry of pirated music — and now, film,” he said. “You need to be able to have a product that can compete with what people can trade for free on the Internet.”

In these tight times, consumers see DVD as a high-value product, partly because it is sellthrough priced (Wal-Mart blows out catalog at prices as low at $5.88), but also because that little disc is packed with information. As has often been noted, consumers get picture, audio and extras on DVD often for less than the price of a CD, which offers audio only.

Just as television product, both classic and current, has found a friend in DVD, music is finding one as well. As studios go digging through TV libraries to goose the DVD pipeline, music suppliers will no doubt be looking for some video to go along with that classic audio recording and new acts may find video saves the radio star.

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