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Kids' DVD Market Has Room for Growth

1 Jul, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf

A mature DVD market can still spell opportunity for kidvid product, panelists said this week at the Fourth Annual Home Entertainment Summit: DVD Magic 8.

“Second players in homes are expected to grow by 40 percent this year, and we all know that most of these players are finding their way into kids' rooms,” said Glenn Ross, EVP and GM of Universal Studios Home Entertainment Family Productions. He also noted that installed car DVD players, most often used by kids, are expected to increase 76 percent a year between now and 2008.

“Children and family programming is perfectly positioned to exploit new technologies and formats,” Ross added.

The family market was a bit slower to grasp DVD, said Gordon Ho, EVP of marketing and business development for Buena Vista Home Entertainment, but now the kidvid consumer is enjoying the advanced interactivity the digital format offers.

Key components like television airing, multiple tiers of licensed product and books are now integral to the success of kidvid product, as these titles jockey for shelf space among new theatrical releases, catalog titles and “grown up” TV DVD product, panelists said. There is more “sales velocity” potential for these, Ross said.

“It's very hard to make a success of a one-off anymore,” agreed Michael Arkin, SVP of marketing for Paramount Home Entertainment.

Today's kidvid is more about creating an overall brand that kids want to interact with than simply streeting a title, added Anne Parducci, EVP of family entertainment and marketing for Lions Gate Entertainment.

“Where we find the most success is with those brands that have multiple licensing opportunities,” she said. “Then we can go in and create multicategory promotions in the store.”

What's become increasingly important to parents, who have to shell out the money for them, is the educational factor of kids' titles, panelists said. But any educational component has to stay true to the nature of the product, Ho said.

“I think we're kidding ourselves if we think that kids want to be taught with videos,” Ross agreed. “They want to be entertained. We have an obligation to kids and to parents to deliver that and to make sure that the product also has redeeming content.”

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