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New Player Jumps Into Dollar DVD Game

13 May, 2005 By: Thomas K. Arnold

Popeye cartoons are part of Global's offerings

Two home video veterans are mounting a big push to get dollar DVDs into 99-cent stores and supermarkets.

Global Multimedia Corp., launched last January by longtime video marketer Gary Delfiner and Elliot Stone, the founder of the West Coast Video retail chain, distributes what Delfiner calls “value DVDs” — with list prices ranging from 99 cents to $1.99 — to nearly 15,000 99-cent stores around the country, along with thousands of drug stores and grocers.

Global's product, all public domain, ranges from classic TV shows like “The Beverly Hillbillies” to films like The Jungle Book and House on Haunted Hill, as well as vintage “Popeye” and “Mighty Mouse” cartoons. Each disc has upwards of two hours' worth of content.

With a 27-member sales team, Global has sold about 2 million DVDs “and counting,” Delfiner said. The company provides retailers with themed “shippers” every 60 days — family and children, TV series, classic movies — with 12 titles each.

“It's a volume business,” said Delfiner, who has worked for Worldvision Home Video and Republic Pictures Home Video.

Dollar DVDs first began showing up on the industry's radar over the holidays, when titles from Genius Products, on sale at Target Stores' new dollar sections, popped up on VideoScan's national DVD sales charts. At one point, 19 of the 50 top-selling DVDs were dollar DVDs from Genius Products. Compilation discs of “Popeye” cartoons and “The Lucy Show” episodes came in at No. 17 and No. 18, right below the Star Wars Trilogy and Dawn of the Dead.

Around the same time, Wal-Mart began selling cheap DVDs from Digiview Productions of New Jersey, in some stores priced as low as 88 cents.

That motivated Delfiner and Stone to venture into the business, with an eye toward beefing up the quality and still turning a profit. All of Global's titles have been digitally remastered, Delfiner said, although he conceded there are no extras or bonus features.

“My customers don't really care much about extras,” he said. “They're going for the value, pure and simple.”

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