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Image Looks At Digital Opportunities

18 Jul, 2005 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Predicting that future growth markets in entertainment will be virtual, Image Entertainment CEO Martin Greenwald said the company is ratcheting up acquisition and distribution efforts in digital subsidiary Egami Media.

Speaking last week to a group of institutional investors at the C.E. Unterberg, Towbin Emerging Growth Conference, Greenwald said Image has amassed digital rights to more than 940 titles for video-on-demand and wireless distribution. He said the Chatsworth, Calif.-based company is obtaining digital rights from longtime content providers in an effort to distribute product through numerous Web sites, including Akimbo, CinemaNow and VCinema.

Greenwald cited Amazon.com as Image's largest customer.

“It's about unlocking value from Image's catalog that is separate from Image [i.e. its core DVD business],” Greenwald said.

He said the company has prepped its catalog of single-episode, complete-season and special collection editions of “The Twilight Zone” for high-definition DVD release in 2006.

Also, Greenwald downplayed concern about increased DVD returns.

“[We] tend not to over-ship product,” Greenwald said. “Everybody is feeling the pain in the home video business. Nobody is going to the video store.”

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