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New Video Grows Digital Library

12 Aug, 2008 By: Chris Tribbey

New Video co-principal Steve Savage believes his company has achieved a milestone in the digital delivery industry: The digital arm of his company has acquired 5,000 hours of independent content for the iTunes store.

From more than 85 content owners, New Video Digital has the rights to more than 3,000 hours of TV content, and more than 1,600 movies, opening up indie product to anyone with a computer and an itch for non-mainstream content.

“It's not just iTunes, but what we've been learning about the digital environment,” Savage said. “For the studios, [digital delivery] isn't adding up to a hill of beans just yet. But for independents, the digital platform is showing unusual strength, and not for tomorrow, but today.”

Aiming for more than 10,000 hours of content by the end of the year, New Video Digital has become the digital content aggregator for dozens of independent distributors, including MTI Video, Acorn Media, Cinema Libre, The Jim Henson Company, Tango Entertainment and Vanguard Cinema.

And just because it's “independent” doesn't mean it's unknown: New Video Digital's library boasts more than 40 Oscar winners, most notably Super Size Me; music documentaries featuring everyone from The Who to Bob Dylan; film festival favorites such as 2004 Sundance winner The Corporation; cult favorite features such as Labyrinth; and TV goodies such as “Fraggle Rock,” “The Greatest American Hero” and “21 Jump Street.”

“With digital distribution, the right audience can be reached cost effectively, and smaller, personal films that used to have a home at arthouse cinemas can be enjoyed as much in the living room as they would in the theater,” said independent director Edward Burns (Purple Violets) in regards to New Video Digital.

Savage said the days of independents worrying about brick-and-mortar retailers only stocking one or two of their DVDs — if they're lucky — may not be completely over. But digital options such as those offered by New Video and other companies are certainly helping.

“We're not telling our independent partners to put down their down payments for the yacht just yet,” Savage said. “But being able to monetize all this content is certainly a great place to be.”

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