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Music DVD Conference on March 29

27 Jan, 2005 By: Jessica Wolf

To help promote and grow the hot new market for music DVDs, Home Media Retailing will present a one-day business-to-business conference focusing exclusively on the marketing, merchandising, promotion and sale of music DVDs.

The first-ever Music DVD Conference, produced by Home Media Retailing in cooperation with DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group, the Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) and The Hollywood Reporter, takes place March 29 at the Century Plaza Hotel & Spa in Century City, Calif.

The event will examine critical issues and trends at a time when music DVD sales are becoming an increasingly important component of the music industry — and a bright light in a market still dealing with flat CD sales and a bruising next-generation format war.

Highlights include an exclusive market research presentation and a retailer panel, in which such top music retailers as Gary Arnold of Best Buy, Kevin Cassidy of Tower Records and Video, and John Marmaduke of Hastings Entertainment will share their concerns and visions for music DVD's potential.

Also on tap are the first-ever Music DVD Awards, honoring the best releases and marketing campaigns.

Home Media Retailing (formerly Video Store Magazine) publisher Don Rosenberg, himself a veteran of the music industry, said the magazine's name change and its broadening into the music DVD market made a conference a natural next step.

“This is a young business, and one that simply did not exist in the VHS-only days,” Rosenberg said. “DVD's superior audio and the advent of home theater make it feasible to achieve concert sound in your very own living room, and the high-quality video can turn any home into a concert venue.”

Executive producer Thomas K. Arnold, Home Media Retailing's associate publisher and group editor, said he expects more than 200 attendees, including top executives with the major record labels and key independent record companies, major music retailers from around the country, key members of the music press and other industry leaders.

Ever since record labels began putting out concerts and other music programs on DVD, music DVDs have become an increasingly important segment of the business for labels as well as retailers. According to The DVD Release Report, nearly 1,300 music DVD titles were released in 2004, an industry record.

The Global Music Forecast pegs 2004 music DVD sales at $2.7 billion, a 26.3 percent uptick from 2003. The report predicts another 17.6 percent increase this year, with annual gains averaging 9.4 percent through 2010, when music DVD sales should hit $4.9 billion.

The mainstream media has been quick to take note, with a recent story in USA Today calling music DVDs “a key part of [an artist's] performing package” and an increasingly common side dish to albums.

But there are still many challenges: coordinating the release of music DVDs with audio-only CDs, marketing and merchandising strategies, and getting the word out through event marketing, publicity and other avenues.

The event is open to the trade only. Advance registrations are $295 for DEG or VSDA members and $345 for nonmembers. Readers of The Hollywood Reporter also are entitled to the $295 discounted registration fee. Special press registrations are available to credentialed media by contacting Thomas K. Arnold at tkarnold@aol.com.

For more information, visit www.dvdconferences.com.

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