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Image Helping Indie Distribution

19 Apr, 2006 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Image Entertainment has formed a new distribution division to help other independent suppliers get their DVDs into retail stores.

Image Entertainment Distribution Services is aimed at video suppliers, as well as audio labels with annual revenue in the $10 million to $50 million range.

The division fills a void created last month when Ventura Distribution dissolved in an asset sale.

“We've always understood what it means to be an independent label,” said Martin W. Greenwald, Image's president and CEO. As a result, he said, Image “is in a unique position to help other independents, who might be feeling lost or ignored as a distributed label under the control of a big studio or major music company.”

The new division will offer suppliers a complete suite of distribution-related services, including sales, marketing, production and creative.

The move comes five months before Image will put into operation a vendor-managed inventory system. Once the system is completed Sept. 30, Image will have inventory tracking and stock replenishment capabilities, at the store level, for all participating retailers.

In addition to offering distribution services, Image also will look to acquire the digital rights to programming owned or controlled by these independent labels for electronic distribution through Egami Media Inc., its digital distribution subsidiary.

“Our new distribution division has been designed to take advantage of our existing infrastructure, and generate additional revenue without the necessity of adding significant costs,” said David Borshell, Image's chief operating officer. “This move will make Image even more prominent in today's market during a time when maximizing distribution efficiencies has become a key issue throughout the industry.”

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