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Kidvid is Disney's World

3 Feb, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The dropoff in VHS sales hampered the kidvid market last year.

Units sales of children's nontheatrical video dropped 0.6% in 2005. DVD accounted for 87% of unit sales, compared to 71% in 2004, according to Nielsen VideoScan. VHS titles fell from 29% of unit sales in 2004 to 13% in 2005, proving the VCR among households with children, anyway, still generates a pulse.

The Walt Disney Co.'s Buena Vista Home Entertainment continued to dominate the kidvid market, winning it handily in 2005 with 28.8% of unit sales.

Independent analyst Dennis McAlpine said the Disney brand for children is so strong, “they can't lose for trying.”

Michael Pachter, analyst with Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angles, agreed Disney's venerable brand recognition with children's videos is almost unbeatable.

“Parents look at a Disney title and assume it is good for their kids without even knowing what the title is,” Pachter said.

He added Disney's impressive catalog of children's classics allows the studio to cherry pick titles on an annual basis. “They re-release something every year,” Pachter said.

Warner Home Video, with its ‘A'-list of cartoon franchises among other properties, took second in children's nontheatrical marketshare for 2005 with 17.3%. In third with 12.6% was Paramount Pictures Home Entertainment with its strong kidvid brands such as “Dora the Explorer,” “Blue's Clues,” “Jimmy Neutron” and others.

Just last week, 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment inked a deal with HIT Entertainment for North American sales, marketing and distribution of the latter's children's fare (see page 1). Fox heralded the deal as a means to “further our expertise” in the category.

Fox, with 4.7% of the children's nontheatrical market in 2005, will combine with HIT's 6.3%, to take a much more dominant position in 2006.

Meanwhile, big box discounters dominate the retail space for kidvid, generating 47.6% of all units sold last year. Other mass retailers and Internet retailers were a distant second with 25% in 2005.

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