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Bookstores Committed to DVD

26 Apr, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

Bookstores increasingly have been slicing off a moderate percentage of the DVD market share -- just less than 3%, according to Adams Media Research.

Top booksellers have proclaimed their commitment to DVD. For Borders, it's even a key segment, said Patti Russo, director of multimedia for the chain.

“We tend to carry more selection [than mass merchants],” she said. “We tend to have higher market share in boxed sets and [DVDs with] more expensive price points, and we tend to keep stuff in our title base a little longer.”

The other big book chain, Barnes & Noble, has grown its DVD section on the same pace as the market, said Chuck Gorman, Barnes VP of music and video/DVD.

This year has seen a number of hit films that tie in to bookstores, he said, pointing to Capote, March of the Penguins, Brokeback Mountain and Memoirs of a Geisha.

The Da Vinci Code, too, is casting a shadow in the book-movie crossover world.

Television programming also offers its share of tie-ins. The History Channel DVDs match perfectly to the book-buyer mentality, said Kate Winn, VP of sales and marketing for A&E Home Video, which handles History Channel releases.

Airing on the History Channel is the series “Ten Days That Unexpectedly Changed America,” which hits DVD June 27 from A&E. Early in production, Winn said, Random House's Crown Publishing got word of the series and spawned an eponymous companion book, which hit bookstores early this month.

With roots as a book publisher, Disinformation Company's product translates well into bookstores, said company president Gary Baddeley. Disinformation has a book-DVD tie-in with its June 27 DVD release The Cult of the Suicide Bomber. Ex-CIA agent Richard Baer hosts the documentary and has penned several books.

Kultur Entertainment has been working with bookstores as far back as the VHS era, said managing director Ron Davis. The company is designing its new line of boxed sets from the recently relicensed Cromwell Library — 158 documentaries on subjects such as art, history and literature — specifically with the bookstore buyer in mind, such as the six-disc set Landmarks of Western Art.

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